Our God Shall Deliver!

Our God Shall Deliver!

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORDAnd everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:28-32 NIV

The fate of the nation, as always,  depends upon the Lord’s deliverance and that deliverance shall come when we learn to depend upon Him.

There are many things from which we need deliverance.

Some of us need deliverance from online shopping. Every time we see something we think we like, we order and then wonder why we can’t save money. And we need to save every dime we can for that rainy day fund–for soon–there will be a deluge of rain and if we have nothing stored against the havoc, we will suffer loss.

Some of us need deliverance from promoting lies. We tend to accept all the latest gossip from various fake news articles as being credible and then without thinking twice, we share on social media accounts or in break rooms, with friends and neighbors and anyone who will listen to us. We become the target of unsavory markets–deliberately snagging personal data when we download information through social media accounts–and they in turn send more lies and many believe them.

Some of us need deliverance from all sorts of addictions–drugs, alcohol, overeating, stealing, lying, and even unsolicited counseling/advice. If we have an addictive spirit–we can become addicted to almost anything because the “thing” becomes our comfort and joy. No addiction can be overcome without changing what we do. I quit smoking by giving up coffee and talking on the phone over 30 years ago. These were habits that led to me lighting a cigarette. The first thing I did (after praying) was to stop buying cigarettes. I couldn’t smoke what I didn’t have.

In order to break addictive cycles, we must be willing to acknowledge there is a problem, and then “do” something about it. We can stay away from all those things that keep us controlled, but lying and giving unsolicited counseling–we need to change our mindset, think before opening our mouths and realize that the lies we tell–corrupt our reputation and soon no one believes anything we say. The unsolicited counseling/advice is ignored and people tend to avoid us because they know–we tend to think we know what is best for everyone when it actuality, we barely know what’s best for ourselves.

Jesus Christ–our redeemer–has given us the ultimate means of deliverance from sin and all other things that we allow to control us–He has delivered us from us–when we allow Holy Spirit to direct our steps in all things. He does not force us or make us do anything, but when we allow Him to direct us and we listen to Him, we can overcome anything that attempts to assail us and keep us from receiving God’s best.

God shall deliver us from all things that keep us from receiving His best in our lives–if we call upon Him and believe He will.

I believe that God–who knows all and sees all–will deliver us from any catastrophic events and that includes exposing truth about the election results. I have and will continue to call upon Him and have faith in what He is able to do. I also have faith in all those who love Him, to hear Him when He speaks and obey. I am declaring deliverance–now!

 

Looking Out For Others In The Lord!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

From what we see–surrounding us–within churches, families, and especially politicians, the only interest some people have is what will make them “somebody” in the eyes of others. When the interest is self-centered, and not Christ-centered, then we recognize, by their actions, who is and who is not–united with Christ.

Being Christ-centered does not mean we don’t make mistakes, but we recognize our mistakes and missteps, apologize and correct, seeking forgiveness where needed and repenting of the behavior. Those who are self-centered–never recognize themselves from one moment to another when they make missteps and certainly won’t apologize to anyone, because in their eyes, they are always right.

Christ-centered people understand how we are to treat others and we know how to put our ambitions aside for the sake of helping others accomplish their goals. That does not mean we shouldn’t have goals, but when we see others–in Christ–struggle to achieve and we can help–we should.

Self-centered people are only interested in what they can accomplish and will walk on and over people to reach their goals, never caring about who they hurt and certainly never caring enough to help another.

Considering the time in which we live–there is a great need for those of us who know Jesus to step up and assist others in need. That assistance can be material, as well as spiritual–offering support to those who have taken a stand for righteousness–and are not caving to political correctness. We can make our support known through social media, open letters to media outlets, and by praying for wisdom and endurance to maintain stances against evil.

It is the responsibility of every Believer to defend the rights of the poor and needy, not the rich and greedy. What are we waiting for? Let’s take care of those who are united in Christ!

Praying For You!

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:15-17 NIV)

Many of us often receive prayer requests for various reasons–someone is having surgery, a child is missing, a life has been lost, someone has lost a job, and for those who are ill and suffering. When I pray for anyone, based upon a prayer request, I ask for the reason I’m praying since I don’t really like “generic prayers” for anyone. We have an awesome God who responds to our faith, about the specific details of our lives, so I like to pray specific prayers.

But for those who profess a faith and belief in God as indicated in their response to something I’ve said in a blog or by following me on Twitter or any other social media, I pray the type of prayer Paul discusses in this passage.

I always thank God for the connection with other like-minded Believers and with those who have shared interest in writing, the arts, literacy, and education. I pray for wisdom for all–those in authority and those who are governed by those in authority. I pray for wisdom for parents in guiding their children in knowing how to live a life that glorifies God. I pray God’s wisdom for spouses that their love will grow and cement their commitment to each other. I pray healing for all--from the crowns of heads to the soles of their feet and every organ, bone, muscle, and tissue in between. I pray God’s wisdom in all decision-making for everyone faced with tough choices. I pray for all to accept God’s love so we may have peace in our homes,  in communities,  in the nation, and in the world–with no hatred or violence against anyone. I pray for strength and courage for all who are tempted to succumb to depression and doubt and for those who stand firm in their faith, never wavering. I pray for all to come to a place where they accept the work on the cross and Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

And when I’ve finished these requests, I praise God and thank Him for hearing and responding to my requests and for speaking to the hearts of all who need to hear from Him in all things. I know that it is done in Jesus’ name.

Someone wrote a song indicating they understood someone–maybe someone they didn’t even know, had prayed for them–“Somebody prayed for me and I’m so glad they prayed.” I know some of the people who prayed for me when I was living my life for me and I’m so glad they prayed, I’m so glad they prayed for me! So, I do not hesitate to pray for others, whether I know them or not, God knows every need, and I expect, with great anticipation, that He will respond to those needs. Hallelujah!

Be encouraged, I’m praying for you!

Motivating Love and Good Works!

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 NLT)

For some people–it is so much easier to instigate aggravation towards others, than to encourage motivation to love and do good.

We see this every day–on the news–in social media–some use these vehicles to promote hatred and bigotry as an outward expression of who they are–and they don’t like being alone in wallowing in their self-hatred.

People (with media assistance), promote unfounded rumors as truth–hoping to persuade the masses to take their side.

Social media users, take the slightest sound bite or misconstrued statement and perpetuates a flurry of “guilty verdicts” when people have not been given opportunity to be proven innocent.

How do we change this climate? If we–who proclaim to know Truth and desire to please Him change what we do, we can influence others.  We will use the same vehicles that others use to spread hate–to spread love and encourage others to love and do good.

Think–before doing anything or saying anything!

How many people will be negatively impacted by what is said or done?

Consider what is said or done–is it because of personal opinion, low self-esteem, self-hatred, or anger at another?

What will it take to bring a smile to someone’s face or ignite tears of joy instead of frowns and tears of sadness?

How many people have been outraged and blow up social media in outpourings of love and kindness, rather than hatred and innuendo?

Is it true–that hate spreads like an unchecked wildfire, and love flows as slow as molasses? Are we adding fuel to the wildfire or we changing the composition of the molasses to faster-flowing maple syrup?

People who hate demonstrate the same bitterness that accompanies sucking sour lemons for a life-time. People who love–want to share love and spread it like a warm blanket on a cold night.

Think–how can we change what is perceived as an atmosphere of hate into an atmosphere of love that wants only the best for everyone?

If we truly think about these things, perhaps we’ll hear Holy Spirit speak to our hearts and we will obey and move towards changing the world, one blog post, one tweet, one prayer, one encouraging word, one “I love you,” one act of kindness every hour of every day, one at a time and see the love coming back at us.

Lord Jesus, help us to get into position to receive Your Love, and share it with others, leaving no room for bitterness and hatred in our hearts and certainly not allowing any bitterness and hatred to flow through our fingers onto keyboards that end up in cyberspace, igniting chaos and confusion, but rather use the love in our hearts in encouraging love towards all–unconditionally.

Their Mocking Results in Blessings!

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” (Matthew 5:11 NLT)

I’ve never really experienced “mocking” the way I am through “digital technology” and perhaps, never will again. There is something about the ability to remain anonymous that really brings out the worst in people; especially those who claim they do not believe in God. Or maybe I’ve just been fortunate enough to live in communities where people were respected for their beliefs whether they agreed or not. At any rate, I’ve come to know more about what this particular passage of scripture means through my voyage in using social media.

The worst offenders through the anonymity of digital technology have been on Huffington Post. Not that long ago, I would find myself responding “to articles” written on the Christian page and then I would be “attacked” on a personal level because of my belief. For a while, it was amusing and I simply stood my ground on my beliefs. When people became too obnoxious, I ignored them. When they became downright hateful with the racial attacks as well as the religious ones, I decided enough was enough and only commented to the articles and never again to those who plagued the Believers. 

What I discovered from those attacks was fuel to use in writing my books and in my blogs. For me–those attacks have resulted in me being blessed with ammunition to keep writing and to keep encouraging other believers to stand on God’s Word, no matter what other people may say.

I am strengthened, daily by Holy Spirit to keep writing and encouraging. I have been blessed by those who “choose” to follow me on a number of social media, and in book sales. I am empowered by the comments being made to keep moving forward, always listening to God and saying what He says–to me in my blogs.

I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone who follows me via “any” of the social media agrees with everything I say, but they are at least respectful enough to either not say anything or to disagree–agreeably. That is a tremendous blessing to me and I would not have known how many people really do love The Lord, if I had not kept writing–in spite of the verbal attacks. Praise God for victory in digital media–even though there are those who yet hide behind anonymity.

What I’ve come to understand from my experience using social media is this–Satan still uses people and tries to hide his hand with the anonymity of “egg photos, cute animals,” or anything they can find other than their face. There are some believers who are hiding as well–perhaps it is because of their experiences with nastiness on social media. I choose to let the world know who I am and that I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I will promote Him, every chance I get, to whoever is willing to read and understand or hear (I’m just as vocal in public)--it is all to His glory!  Hallelujah!

So, go ahead and mock me so I can continue to be blessed by God in all I say that glorifies Him! I am blessed and highly favored and every time someone is nasty to me or has a hateful comment, God counters it with another blessing. Now, this is what the psalmist meant when he said, “He has prepared a table for me in the midst of my enemies” and now my enemies can  watch me devour the fullness of God in my life and be a blessing to others!

 

This Is The Day!

misc and trapped 010Today is the day that the campaign for Trapped is blitzed on the web! Here’s the deal–when you purchase the book, send a copy of your receipt via email to mary.hallrayford@gmail.com. In the subject line write: Trapped Blitz. A random selection will occur within the next 15 days and the holder of the receipt will receive a $50.00 American Express gift card! When there is evidence–that 1000 books have been sold, another selection will yield another gift card for $250.00. Book sales through Xlibris.com do not need to submit a copy of receipt–just the date of purchase with your name. When sales have reached 25,000 a donation of $5,000 will be made to a women’s shelter in the name of the person who purchased that book. Are you in? There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain–a good book and the chance to win more than you spent and to help others. I’m excited and I hope you are, too! Let’s get this online blitz started!  Share the news with others on every social media!

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble.com

Xlibris.com

On your march, get set, Go!