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YOUNG OLIVE SHOOTS

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Your wife will bear children as a vine bears grapes, your household lush as a vineyard, The children around your table as fresh and promising as young olive shoots. Stand in awe of God’s Yes. Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God! Psalm 128:3

Olive trees are the only trees that don’t lose their leaves in the winter. Take this word for your children and watch them develop into their fresh and promising destiny the Lord has called them into. They will stay with you. Declare and decree it. 

The promise of the olive tree is that the olive oil will always rise to the top. You will stand in awe of what God does. 

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YOUR VOICE CONNECTS TO HEAVEN

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Did you know you are actually a speaking spirit?  The smallest particle in the Universe is not an atom, proton or neutron, it is called a Quark.  And actually, what a Quark is, is a sound wave. So when Ps 4:3 says “He listens the split second I call to Him,” means God connects with your voice the moment He hears you. Have you ever noticed that when you have lost something and you ask the Holy Spirit where it went, that sooner or later it will turn up? He hears and responds to your voice. He knows where every particle in the world is. And your voice is the connector, it is the most elemental part of you. 

If you strung a person’s DNA out onto a wave chart, it would actually be a song, individual and unique, unlike any other person’s. So what songs have you been singing lately to the Lord? Thankfulness, appreciation, encouragement? Doubt, failure, disappointment? God is a good God and all good things come down from the Father of Lights. Sing songs, speak words that line up with His Word, and watch your prayers be answered.Your pattern of vibrations are unique to you: Let 2018 be the year where they flow even more harmoniously with Him.

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LET WISDOM REIGN IN 2018

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“Wisdom is the most valuable commodity – so buy it!
Revelation knowledge is what you need – so invest in it.
Wisdom will exalt you when you exalt her truth.
She will lead you to honor and favor
When you lead your life by her insights,
You will be adorned with beauty and grace and wisdom’s glory will wrap itself around you, making you victorious in the race.” Prov 4:7-9 Passion

In this world there are many voices, but only one voice counts – that of the Holy Spirit.  What is His still small voice telling you to do in 2018? The theme of our Arise Womens’ Conferences this year is “Sound Waves.” The smallest particle in the universe is a quark, way smaller than an electron or a neutron.  This minute piece of matter is essentially a sound wave.  A sound wave can produce a symphonic sound or it can be a cacaphonic disaster to the ears.  Lining up with the Holy Spirit this year can produce a harmonious flow to your life as you follow His promptings.  The funny thing is, the Holy Spirit will keep after you when He wants you to turn right or left in your life. His voice will reverberate over and over, not in an incongruous way, but in a way that flows with your life. Your mouth, and essentially the sound that forms words out of your heart, will create your life. It is created by that thing right below your nose called your mouth. Try watching what you say for the first seven days of 2018 and see if there is anything you would like to God can make this a breakthrough year for you as you listen to the Holy Spirit and speak life over your life.

We agree with you for harmony and hope to come out of your mouth in 2018 and for signs and wonders to follow.

Many Blessings to you,
Keith and Mary

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FOLLOW HIS PEACE

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“Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is a peace and a good hope given to the sons of men…” Luke 2:13-14 Passion

At the birth of Jesus, the angels announced He was bringing peace and hope to humanity.  Whatever you are going through this Christmas, remember His peace is there for you. If you are agitated or thrown off kilter during the holidays, pop out that bible and start reading.  Or download a Bible app on your phone and read for five minutes during your break.  The Lord will speak to you and the peace of God that passes all understanding will settle down on you.  His word is supernatural because the Holy Spirit uses it to divide what is spiritual from what is emotional in your life.  You may not see a way out of your situation but He is the Waymaker. The Lord has a way for you. He will light it up as you look to Him.  Have a Christmas full of Light this year.

 

We love you and bless you,
Keith and Mary

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WHAT YOU SAY DIRECTS YOUR LIFE

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If you don’t say it, you don’t have authority to believe it. Authority is transferred by words.  Romans 10:17, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God…” or, “by his stripes I am healed…”, is 53:4,5.

You see people lined up to receive their healing. You ask them “are you going to receive your healing tonight?’ they say, “ I sure hope so…” but you can’t hope so, you have to know so. It is his word. And his word is his bond. God has bound himself to his word.  It is a covenant that cannot be changed or cancelled. Sometimes we are silly in our preconceived ideas.  God made your body. It was lifeless and colorless but God is a spirit. 

The body has a unique role to play in physical affairs. It gives man an authority in the natural as well as in the spiritual world. Man is a spirit. He has a soul made up of his mind, will and emotions. And he lives in a body. You have authority under God in heaven. You have dominion in three worlds. Now you know why the spirit of God wants to inhabit your body. He can send your body to Africa or a jail visitation. But he needs your body to operate through.

God said my words are spirit and life! He used words of authority to create a living man. God made covenant with man and gave him authority. God says in Mark 11 “ you cast out devils, you pick up deadly serpents and they don’t hurt you!

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LIGHT ALWAYS OVERCOMES THE DARKNESS

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God has a great life waiting for you and your family. Your children will only be living with you for a short time. Your joyful attitude during those 18 years or so will make all the difference of how unified your family is after that.

I remember being very depressed for a three month period years ago while our children were all still at home. This may have happened to you at times or is even happening to you right now.  It was a challenge to get up in the morning. It was like a wet blanket was pulled over my head. After 90 days of this I opened my bible to

Ps 113:9 amp, “He makes the barren woman to be a joyful mother of spiritual children.”

What was the Lord saying here? That I was supposed to rejoice in the middle of a unhappy situation? The words were jumping off the page at me, saying, if you want your children to be spiritual, you will need to get happy. Judgment and sorrow always drags you down, but God wants you to look to His promises, and keep focused on His goodness. He is the judge, not you. When you become aware of that He will never let you down.

There was a time when we were pastoring in the 80ties that a couple who helped us start the church decided to leave it after a couple of years.  Keith was distressed and went about moaning and groaning about the loss of them leaving. But the Lord rebuked him and said, “If you don’t take care of the ones you have left, they will leave too.” Fortunately Keith took heed of that word and the church grew and prospered from that point on.  However it was because he decided to change his attitude.  You can stay in the pit of depression or move to the palace of joy.  Your choice, but when you consider His joy is your strength but depression is your weakness, then you realize it is time to get strong in the Lord and move away from depression.

We have seen so many families turn around when this principle is applied. Start applying it yourself by changing your attitude and looking up. You can endure the day or pursue His presence and experience fullness of joy. That is why looking into the Word when things get tough, and letting Him speak to you out of the scriptures, makes all the difference.

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STAY ALERT WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN IN GRATITUDE

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Testimonies continue to abound as we minister in meetings and Arise Conferences. One young woman stood in the gap for her Mom who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Even though the mother was not saved and not in the meeting, her daughter’s faith healed her. The doctor told the Mom the black spot on her lung had totally disappeared by her next visit! Other women totally turned from victims to victors at our Maui Arise Conference in October. They are regularly attending and volunteering at church, they have even started a small group and their leader has seen a huge difference in them.

Do everything you can to stay in unity with your loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday – that is where God commands the blessing. There are many reasons where you can be justified to stay in strife, but excuses are like noses, everyone has one. In John 5:7-9 the man at the pool of Bethesda made excuses for his condition but Jesus refused to go there, and instead asked for action.  He tells the man to get moving, to do what he can do. Walking in love is the surest way to keep your health, finances and family intact, especially when you don’t feel like it!! Time to rise above your feelings.

“Love never gives up,
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,|
Isn’t always “me first.”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always, always looks for the best,
Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”   1 Cor 13: 3-7 msg

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THE SOUND OUT OF YOUR MOUTH DEMOLISHES YOUR MOUNTAIN

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General Patton was outspoken and opinionated man to most people. However he was a fighter and he was one of the main reasons America won the Second World War. against the Nazis. General Patton lived with winning on his mind.  Even his dog was named William the Conqueror.

Your praises and prayers may not be pretty, and other people might think you are radical. But once you start getting results they will want to know what you are doing that they are not. As you speak the Word with conviction against the enemy, he backs down and you overtake His lies. 

There is a book written by a faith-filled lady evangelist from the 1940ties, called Grace Ryerson Roos. She writes about a fight she had with the devil in prayer. She started by pleading the Blood over her situation, and she could see him in her mind’s eye, standing off and laughing at her seemingly feeble attempts to win the battle. But that made her even more determined. As she persevered, she noticed a fear fall over his face and a quiver in his voice as he trembled at the sound of God’s word out of her mouth, aimed directly at him. Just as it was for the enemy on the Mount of Temptation, when he tried to twist Jesus’ words and Jesus quickly rebuked him, he was forced to slowly back down from this resolute prayer warrior and slink away.

You might have an instant manifestation to your words or it can take time. Just be aware that every time you pray in faith, your voice is carrying victory to its intended destination. MichaelAngelo did not finish the sculpture of David overnight. It was a process. What is impossible with men is possible with God.                                                                                                                                                             Mark 11:23-24 “I assure you: if anyone says to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for, believe that you HAVE received them and you will have them.” (HCSB)

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A PROCESS MIRACLE

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Sometimes prayers take time to manifest, other times answers come right away.

In John 2:1-12, Jesus was about to start His miracle ministry…but He didn’t realize it until His mother prompted him. “On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding as well. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, ‘They don’t have any wine.’ ‘What has this concern of yours have to do with me, woman?’ Jesus asked. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

However Mary was not deterred by her son’s words. She had heard from on high and knew the Lord was about to birth Jesus’ miracle ministry. She ignored what He said and instead made preparation for the process to begin. “‘Do whatever He tells you,’ His mother told the servants. Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons.” Apparently Jesus changed His mind once He saw they were getting ready for the miraculous. 

What are you preparing for?

The next thing Jesus said to the servants was “ ‘Fill the jars with water.’ So they filled them to the brim. ‘Now draw some out and take it to the chief servant.’ And they did.”

Once Jesus started directing the process, miracles began.

This passage continues, “When the chief servant had tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from – though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom and told him, ‘Everybody sets out the fine wine first, then, after people have drunk freely, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.’ Jesus performed His first miracle in Cana of Galilee, He displayed His glory and His disciples believed in Him.”

Even though Jesus Himself didn’t see it coming, He flowed with it once it was ready! You may not be able to define at this moment how God is going to use you in the future, but allow yourself to be moved along by scripture that comes alive in you, a prophetic word that resonates with your heart, a friend that speaks a passing word to you.

They are signposts to the glory filled life God has for you.

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YOUR LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

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“The prophetic word: the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the morning star in your hearts…1 Peter 1:19-21

When you receive a personal word of prophecy, God is building you up and encouraging you. Anything less than that is not of the Lord. A true prophetic word lights your way through the darkness. Never take it for granted. If a prophecy resonates with you, seize it, write it down and pray it out.  God is showing you a stake you can tie your prayers to.

A word of wisdom given to a biology teacher, (who knew every part of the human body inside and out, and taught it in high school regularly), was that he would be healed by the end of the year.  The only problem was that he was not even sick. However, two months later in April he did come down with lymphoma, a type of cancer his sister had died from 18 months earlier. Naturally he went to the doctor who put him through the standard radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  Thank God for doctors but they can only give you the facts.  Doctor Jesus has the truth.  Facts can change, but truth does not.

By the time September rolled around this man was no better according to medical science.  His physician told him to wrap up his affairs, because he was not going to make it.  However this teacher was not going to take death as the final verdict. He decided to pick up the prophetic word instead and go outside to his backyard and declare it.  See, the Lord cannot do anything without your words. You are a speaking spirit. When this man opened his mouth and reminded the Lord that He said he would be healed by the end of the year, he was standing his ground.  You need to take territory, be firm with the word you receive and don’t back down.  The very next week his white blood cell count started to change.  By the end of that year, his words had changed his life.  He was healed.  The doctors called it a miracle but this man’s miracle came from his mouth.  That is where yours will come from too.

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LIVE CAREFREE

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“So be content with who you are and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you. He will promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God, He is most careful with you….” 1 Peter 5:6-7 MSG

Sometimes we are so caught up in doing everything perfectly by ourselves, it is like we have spiritual OCD. But what the Lord is saying here is relax, release the weight of your problem, cast your care on me.  And what is so interesting about that is vrs 6, where in the KJV version it reads, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…..” Humility is not wearing a hair shirt and being beaten by whips until your back is bleeding.  No, they might have thought that was really spiritual to do that in the Middle Ages, but God is saying here you are seriously flowing with Him when you allow Him to take the care, worry, concern OFF of your mind and put it onto His. To do this means you really have to be open to His perfect will in your life, which is exactly what humility is. Pride is when you close yourself OFF to listening to the Lord for solutions, and saying “I can do this MY way.” Your way without God’s way can lead into no way. Make sure you are releasing all your issues on Him and don’t even think about picking them back up again. The enemy will try to hang these situations in front of you like dirty laundry but keep the fact in your mind that the greater one lives in you and he keeps you clothed in clean garments as you keep your ear attuned to the heavenlies.

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CELEBRATING PARTIAL VICTORIES

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Do you have anything in your life that is incomplete today, a dream that has not come to pass? Maybe that problem in your life has not turned around yet. 

But you have seen some progress, you have seen a sign of God's favor. But the work is still unfinished.  The mistake we make too often is that we wait for the total victory to manifest before we celebrate the victory.  

-"As soon as I get over this illness..."

-As soon as this legal situation clears up

-As soon as I break free from this addiction....THEN I will celebrate.

No, the key to seeing total fulfillment is celebrating the partial victories along the way.


You may not be totally out of debt but you have paid off one credit card..

-Celebrate what God has done!

You haven't lost all the weight but you did lose five pounds

-celebrate that victory

You haven't received your college degree but you did finish your first year

-When you celebrate your partial victories, it gives you the strength to move forward.


A lady who recently had a stroke was walking with a cane-

We asked how she was doing. She could have complained, 'I can't believe I had this stroke, I can hardly walk anymore.' Instead she smiled real big and said 'I have to use this cane but at least I am walking. I could be at home, I could be in bed, I am not totally healed but I am headed that way...' When you thank God for the partial, you will receive more strength, more healing, more favor. Sometimes we are so focussed on the completion, we miss and take for granted the small victories.

Your child may not be on course yet but he was respectful this morning. That is a partial victory, thank God for it. Or maybe your didn't make that big sale that you worked so hard for.  Things fell though.  Don't go around complaining, your time is coming. Then there are those anxiety attacks. But you haven't had one in three weeks -another partial victory.

It is time to rejoice your way through to total victory no matter what your situation looks like:

Habakkuk 3:17
Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
    and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
    and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
    and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
    I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
    I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
    I feel like I’m king of the mountain!

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ONE CANARY

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Do you sometimes feel lost in a sea of people, over 7.5 billion of them to be exact? Don’t let your feelings deceive you. God is so detailed He gave you a unique DNA, fingerprint and iris in your eyes. He loves you so much that He always wants your identity to be distinct.

“What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail – even numbering the hairs on your head. So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Luke 12:6-7 msg

Listen, if God is so concerned about a little bird, how much more does He care about you, a human being He created in His image.  Think about how many miracles have occurred in your life already, be thankful for the flowers in the field, the small victories that occur before the actual manifestation of your prayers. I like to write them down, the times I interceded for the situations, and the obvious results of those prayers.  It is such an encouragement to know that God is always watching over me, and He never leaves me or forsakes me. So never think you are alone, He is always there with you. Be sure to reach out to others as compassion leads you. That is Jesus showing you the way to bring His Presence on the scene. Once you are reaching out, you will never reach in again.

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THE YEAR OF THE OPEN DOOR

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The Hebrew year 5778 started last month with its theme, Open Doors.  After the close of 5777, whose byline was the Year of the Clashing of Swords, there will be  less warfare by the end of this calendar year. It is the year to enter the door with boldness, securing the door to your future. People realize it is time to come together in unity, where God commands a blessing.  Strife divides relationships. The enemy sits in hell and rubs his hands in glee when he sees people constantly arguing with each other, since he knows what a weak link it creates in marriages, homes, nations and even the body of Christ. When you become aware of his strategy, you understand how important it is to rise above anger and settle into peace. Listen, you may not be able to agree with your spouse, boss or co-worker, but you will find it wise to take the high ground and avoid disagreement.  The favor of God will shine upon your ways. I was recently on a plane about to sit in a great aisle seat with no partition, allowing room to stretch out my legs on a six-hour flight.  However as I stowed my purse above me, I had the feeling I would not be there long.  Sure enough an elderly British lady came along on a cane, whose leg was locked in an upright position. She needed room to stick it straight out. She and her companion kindly asked if I would consider switching, to the window seat. Although I was happy to help, I was not keen, because I like to move around on long flights. But the stewardess reassured me if I would change, she would ask the next person if they would move.

When this passenger arrived at her seat, she was irritated someone was in her seat. In spite of medical issues, she was not willing to move and started to shove me into the aisle. However as I maintained the peace, the stewardess intervened and asked the person in the aisle seat behind the lame lady if he would move to a window. He readily agreed, I ended up sitting across the aisle from my companion travelling with me, as well as being able to put my bag underneath so I could write. I was even able to talk to the lady about healing.  All by avoiding strife and keeping the peace, you will open doors in your life this coming year. Watch what comes out of your mouth, it is the steering wheel of your life. Unity always trumps strife.

 

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THE LIGHT-RADIANT CLOUD

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“Then He drove it home by saying, This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the Kingdom of God arrive in full force.  Six days later, three of them DID see it. Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them….Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to Him.” Mk 9:7 msg

Listening to the voice of the Lord is not a deep mystical thing.  God talks to you plainly and clearly through His word.  He is a practical God. Never forget the simplicity which is in Christ Jesus. As you read along in the Bible as a born again Christian, your spirit becomes increasingly alive unto God. He downloads passages of scripture, words and phrases that jump out to you, literally illuminated by His love. He wants you to be full of His light, but not the counterfeit the world wants to dump on you. 2 Cor 11:14 amp talks about “And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light…” There is the real radiance that comes from being in God’s presence, then there is the complicated mysticism that comes from false gods.  Only by spending time in the Word and worship will your spirit be keen enough to tell the difference.  It is vital that we are sharp in Him in these last days.

The Lord wants you to know Him, the real thing, not some dead idol. He and he alone will bring light and life to your situation.

 

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THE AWAKENED CHURCH

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‘When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him….” Is 59:19 KJV

There is only one group of people who can restore values in the USA:  It is the body of Christ answering their wake-up call.  When you get up at 3:45 am to catch a 6 am flight out of your hometown, you can’t dilly dally in bed waiting for the second snooze alarm.  You have to turn off that clock on your phone and leap out of bed.

If you want to be on that airplane, there is not a moment to lose.  As Americans face seemingly overwhelming threats from North Korea, Iran and other groups who want to destroy the fabric of American society, you have the spiritual authority to silence the storm.  The time is now to wake up and take your place spiritually. When the enemy shows himself strong, it takes a praying church that knows who they are in Christ to take him down.

When Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,’ we add to that, “help yourself.” Christianity is not a spectator sport. If you are going to see victory in this or any situation in your life, you can’t depend on education, experience, personality or past works. Your entire source is the Holy Spirit if you really want to be a man or woman of God. Begin taking more time to listen to him; any time of the day or night you can be in the spirit of prayer, walking quietly before God, taking your stand against demonic forces. Millions of people worldwide are diligent and disciplined in their devotion to false gods. Even though these people live in darkness and are spiritually blind, they put many Christians to shame by their devotion and consecration. But only the true and living God answers prayer. And because He is the only One who can help, we come to Him in faith. He is waiting to hear from you today.

The testimonies of women delivered from bondage continue to pour in from the past 45 plus Arise Conferences that have been held over the last 11 years. Women have risen up to leadership in their communities with a passion and a fire to change culture and hearts in their own hometowns. Join with us to educate and renew the minds of shelter women we are bringing to the Maui meeting October 5-7. Our theme this year is “radiant”, as in Eph 5:25-28 msg, “’Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant in holiness.”

If you would, it can help us bring these women up to victory in their lives, our $9000 educational budget is already down to $7500.  Whatever the Lord leads you to do will be a great blessing in their lives and yours.

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THE SPEAKING SPIRIT

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As a human being (not a human ‘doing,’ although you might feel that way sometimes), you are a tri-part person. First, you are a spirit which will live for eternity; Second, you have a soul, which is your mind, will and emotions; and third, you inhabit a body, which is your fleshly outer casing (sometimes there is too much of it in which case you have to decrease your intake). Why am I saying all that today? Because we spend so much time on this body when it is your spirit that will last forever. Pastors used to say, ‘we feed our flesh three square meals a day and our spirit one snack a week!’ So watch what you say over your body. Phrases like ‘This will be the death of me yet!’ or, ‘I will kill you if you do that again...’ are powerful when you say them. God started it all when He created man with His words. And now His words literally hold galaxies together. Your words may not move the stars, but they will affect your life. Change what you say and watch God do the impossible. He watches over His Word to perform it.


“He holds everything together by what He says – powerful words!” Heb 1:2 msg

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SUDDEN TURNAROUNDS….

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Sometimes society seems so dark you scratch your head, thinking, ‘Will this ever change?’ But darkness can never overtake the light. Even when Israel went through a dark period where no one acknowledged the Lord, God sent an exiled priest out of Syria (of all places) to teach the people how to honor and worship God.

Even today there are thousands of Chinese missionaries being sent to the United States from the underground church in mainland China. Even though millions suffer horrendous persecution in that nation for their faith, they are passionate about Jesus. Many times even their pastors are jailed, tortured and killed. But that does not stop them from being a light, it actually propels them on. In a recent conference at Che Ahn’s church in Pasadena, CA, prophetess Cindy Jacobs declared that hundreds of evangelists were coming from everywhere to minister on the streets of California.

So don’t despair if you don’t see anything happening in your community – yet! God will send the most random people to cross your family and friend’s paths. Let Him do it, and take your hands off the wheel. When the priest began to teach the people, “They sang their praises with joy and reverence, kneeling in worship…” 2 Chron 29:30 msg. Not only that, God wasted no time in answering once the “ascending sound of their prayers entered His holy heaven…” vrs 36

Even when things look the worst for you, God will turn it around. He is the Waymaker. But you have to turn to Him in the process.


 

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“PUT YOUR WHOLE TRUST IN GOD….”

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Hezekiah became king of Israel at 25 and immediately had to face the armies of Syria bent on destroying his nation. Fortunately this king took a sharp turn away from previous rulers and followed the Lord. “Hezekiah put his whole trust in the God of Israel. There was no king quite like him, either before or after. He held fast to God, never loosened his grip – and obeyed to the letter everything God had commanded Moses. And God, for His part, held fast to him through all his adventures.” 2 Kings 18:5-6 msg.

God will stick by you today no matter what you are going through if you wholly trust in Him.  We attended Pastor Jerry Zirkle’s church in Tulsa, OK, in the late 80ties. Pastor Jerry relied on prayer and encouraged his congregation to pray with him in the sanctuary every morning at 6 am.  He used to admonish people not to be “Holy Ghost Junior.” Once you have prayed, he said, leave it with the Lord, and don’t keep repeating it.  Start thanking and praising God before you see the answer.

The threats Hezekiah endured from the Syrian King were vicious. Not only were the Syrians planning to destroy Jerusalem, they were going to wipe out the whole country. It was sort of like pre-fight banter between McGregor to Mayweather before the Irishman was soundly defeated in last week-end’s battle.

But what will bring your victory is you communicating with God.  It worked for Hezekiah. When he realized what he was up against, he “went to the Temple .. and spread the letter before God. And Hezekiah prayed – oh how he prayed!”  (2 Kings: 14-15) And the Lord answered his prayer by sending an angel who massacred 185,00 Assyrians in one night.

Now I don’t know how God is going to answer you, but it is up to you to lay your heart before Him. He IS a God who will always stand by you no matter what, if you will take the time to pray with passion.

 



 

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RESPONDING TO PERSECUTION

Social persecution is often called discrimination. It consists of making people outcasts. An example of extreme mental and spiritual persecution is seen when Peter and John were threatened not to preach the gospel in Acts 5: 40-42, “After giving them a thorough whipping, they warned them not to speak in Jesus’ name and sent them off. The apostles went out of the High Council overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name. Every day they were in the Temple and homes, teaching and preaching Christ Jesus, not letting up for a minute.”


When we were first married we were associate pastors of a church in Las Vegas, Nevada. One night we were invited to a church conference at the Desert Inn Hotel, only to see a picket line across the front entrance. But we wanted to hear the speaker so we decided to drive slowly through. As we did, picketers reluctantly parted to allow the car to pass, but not without one belligerent man approaching us and asking Keith if I was his
who**. Keith’s answer to this bully was not what the man expected. Keith looked him straight in the eye and said, “You know, Brother, Jesus really loves you…” The mans face noticeably fell, and he walked away. The
Word never goes out void.

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