He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. Job 26:7

Nothing in all creation is as it ought to be, but everything is as it should be. That is; all things, whether presenting themselves from order or from chaos operate within the structures and boundaries of the word of God. And the word reveals that within those structures and boundaries; God is good.

Nothing in all creation is as it ought to be –

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. Romans 8:20,21

But everything is as it should be –

The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Proverbs 16:4

I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:7

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought and planned, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” Isaiah 14: 24

That is; all things, whether presenting themselves in order or in chaos operate within the structures and boundaries of the word of God –

Isaiah 55: 10,11
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

And the word of God reveals that within those structures and boundaries; God is good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Meanwhile at my trail cam…

Baby raccoons lose their mother but find another! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EisDQ1p-58

3 1/2 foot long black Rat Snake (originally in the garage). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dekwyd5GG0g

Mountain Bobcat rolls around & purrs gently as he leaves! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH4K7f-pvzs

More bobcats behind our home! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diu1GSWPu6o

A zillion raccoons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_Kz0rAGxO0

Ans, as usual, coyotes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr-yQqTnaJg

God’s response to the great delusion that has engulfed the earth.

Psalm 2

1Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3“Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”

4The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

Pride and Shame

5/31/2015

Shame is sometimes the primary method of establishing religion. When this happens, pride is the governing body of that religion. Pride led religious leaders to want to kill Jesus (Mark 11:18). In order to flourish, pride must conquer what it perceives as competition.

Where there is much pridefulness, there is powerful judgment:
“On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)

But, where there is little pridefulness, there is powerful grace:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:32-33)

Happy or Blessed?

5/18/2015

While being interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine on his fiftieth birthday, Bob Dylan was asked if he was happy. He hesitated for a moment and replied, “You know, those are yuppie words, happiness and unhappiness. It’s not happy or unhappy – it’s either blessed or unblessed.” This was an insightful statement that really ought to be keenly realized by all Christians.

We live in a country founded on the principle that we are all entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness is a pleasant emotion. However, for most of us, it is almost entirely dependent upon the circumstances of our lives. And our lives are sometimes full of unhappy circumstances or memories of past hurts, sadness, or personal failures.

But God’s blessings are eternal. One of the most dynamic sources of daily hope that is available to us as Christians is the vast treasure of blessings that are bestowed upon us through Christ, not only in this life but in the life to come. If you will count your blessings every day, you will find that thankfulness for your eternal blessings is much more fulfilling than the temporary experience of happiness.

We are blessed to overflowing with spiritual blessings….. (Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ: We are adopted by God….(Ephesians 1:5) We are elected (saved)…(1 Peter 1:2) We have become a child of God…(John 1:12) We have become a new creature…(2 Corinthians 5:17) We are reconciled to God….(Romans 5:10) We are accepted in the Beloved…(Ephesians 1:6) We have eternal life…(John 10:28) We have peace with God…(John 14:27) We are forever forgiven…..(Luke 7:48) We became a friend of God….(John 15:15) We received imputed righteousness….(Romans 4:6) Our names are written in heaven…..(Luke 10:20) and we are eternally loved….(Romans 8:38-39).

And there will one day be a day where every tear is wiped away: ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Rev 21:4,5)

The Mask of the Impostor

“The great weakness in the North American church at large, and certainly in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus, we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy, and lacquered with a sense of self-deprecating humor that passes for humility. The irony is that while I do not want anyone to know that I am judgmental, lazy, vulnerable, screwed up, and afraid, for fear of losing face, the face that I fear losing is the mask of the impostor, not my own!”
– Brennan Manning from his book; Ruthless Trust

God’s original plan, as initiated with Adam and Eve, was that we would understand that our self-worth is determined entirely by the fact that we are created in God’s image. We were designed to discover personal value and purpose through the fact that we are created in His image and through the unhindered realization of His unconditional love for us. There would be no competition with one another, no problems with feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, jealousy, insecurity etc.

Tragically, the effect of sin on our thoughts and our feelings has caused a separation from the security of realizing God’s unconditional love for us and has encouraged a shifting away from reliance upon God and a deterioration of trust in His purpose for our lives. Instead of trusting God, we find ourselves repeatedly depending upon self-centered behavior as we attempt to reduce our personal insecurity and compensate for the loss of the realization of God’s unconditional love. We are unable to find spiritual rest, because we are almost continuously striving to bolster our self-esteem by gaining affirmation from man by seeking his personal approval in the form of love, recognition, admiration, respect, etc.

Christians who strive for a sense of purpose, contentment or positive personal identity in this way often struggle unsuccessfully to overcome strongholds such as: depression, anger, unforgiveness, anxiety, perfectionism, pride, shame, fear and many others. These strongholds can seem almost impossible to overcome until we have truly accepted the utter futility of our performance-oriented mentality and have come to accept that our personal value is supposed to be based entirely in the fact that we are created in the image of God and for this reason, loved by Him unconditionally.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 5:1-2
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.

Genesis 9:6
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Three Visions From The Lord (three visions/one message)

Here is a three-part vision received by three different people at Abundant Grace Church independent of one another on the same night (8/8/05). I believe this is pertinent and timely for the church today.  I received the first vision.

____________________________________

Prologue

Each vision has its own particular primary characteristics.
The primary vision characteristics are –
Vision One – coming events
Vision Two – corporate effect/concerns related to coming events
Vision Three – individual effect/concerns related to coming events

There are nine groups of “three” pertaining to the visions:
1. Three Visions
2. Three People that received the visions on the same night.
3. Three different ways of receiving vision/dream experiences
4. Three Types of Focus – event/corporate/individual
5. Three Catastrophes
6. Three Catastrophe Directions – North, South & West.
7. Three Wolves – the Leader, the Baby, the One in the background
8. Three Spirits – In the Chair, Small one & Cat
9. Three areas attacked relating also to the three directions – “In all this I was not afraid of the challenge to my position of authority in Christ (North), of the spying of the enemy in my dressing room (South) nor of the threat of evil represented by Phantom” (West). (Excerpt from Vision Three)

________________________________________

We believe that it is never God’s intent to create fear in the hearts of Christians through visions or prophetic insights. These visions are essentially a message to be alert and ready to stand firmly in our authority as Christians in the face of worldly and spiritual opposition to the inner peace that is ours through the gospel of grace. To the best of our discernment at this time, the pertinently symbolic words are underlined in each vision and the applicable meanings given in chronological order after each vision.

________________________________________

About the Visions
One Vision or dream may have multiple messages. There is always a primary message and there may be secondary messages. The revelation of these messages can be immediate or be developed over time. I believe the messenger has the most authority in deciphering the interpretation since only he or she experienced the sensations and emotions of the vision/dream, so is the best judge as to the interpretation.

Side note: The second vision did not record that when the person in the vision was facing the three wolves, there were three dogs standing behind her, but they didn’t do anything – thus were ineffective. It is important to understand that when writing down visions and dreams there are so many details it can be challenging to decipher which points are important and which are just backdrop information. It was in discussion between the three messengers that we felt that the dogs were an important item.
Given the discussions the three messengers have had regarding the visions of 8/8/2005 this is the common theme.

The church is divided into 3 camps. In one camp are the believers who have salvation, but not sanctification. The second camp is composed of believers who have salvation and some sanctification, but either do not know about, do not understand, or refuse to use their God-given authority in the spiritual realm. The third camp is believers who have salvation and sanctification to the degree that they are aware of their power through Christ Jesus and are willing to take up this authority to forcefully advance the kingdom of God.

The first vision reveals what will happen to the first camp of believers: they will be easily deceived and will be taken captive by Satan although they will not lose their salvation. Basically, they will be ineffective in God’s Kingdom on earth.

The second vision speaks about the second camp: they have freedom and will not be taken captive, but they will meekly watch the battle in fear, instead of using their authority to stand up to Satan’s plans. Even though they are free, they too are ineffective.

The third vision reveals that: believers in the third camp are empowered by their submission to God and are rewarded for using the gifts and authority He has given them (to His glory). These believers will fight the battle of the Lord and will not be afraid of Satan’s attack. Neither will they be afraid of the future and the unknown battles to come. They will by God’s authority stand up face to face with evil and not be afraid. They will not allow Satan to gain any ground in their faith, in their authority, in their churches, or anywhere God has given them domain.
These messages are meant to be a warning and an exhortation. Are you willing to submit everything to Him in order to fulfill his will in your life? Are you truly willing to travel down the lifelong process of sanctification in order to be free and to be an effective warrior for the Lord? Everyone has a calling on their life and the journey is one of self sacrifice that leads to true serving. Choose soon which camp you will belong to for, “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)
________________________________________

Vision One: The Three Catastrophes

This is the essence of the dream I received from the Spirit last night (8/8/05).

Two catastrophes and the specter of a third that will come upon the earth:

The first catastrophe was seen by me and then removed from my memory so that I could not give warning of it. The first will come without warning and many people will be moving about unsure of where to go as a result of it. It will occur to the south of the second catastrophe.

The second catastrophe, which is to the north of the first, was experienced in this way – I was standing outside of a building in a suburban area that I was not familiar with. Suddenly a very large chunk of earth with city buildings on the top of it hurtled through the air and crashed into the earth a few miles away from me. It looked as if a giant invisible hand must have scooped a section of a city with the earth attached below it and thrown it through the air. As it crashed to the earth pieces of it exploded upward and outward.
Some of the pieces were coming directly toward me and I began to move backward while I tried to gauge where they would fall. They fell very close to me and smaller pieces burst upward and continued coming toward me. As I turned and began to run (slowly for some reason) a piece hit the back of my head. As it struck me it disintegrated into a fine dust that settled over my head, but, I was not harmed by it at all. During all of this I felt no fear – only a great sense of astonishment and ominous dread.
After this I entered the building that I was near. Entering a room and kneeling down I began looking through somebody’s boxes of personal belongings. I thought, “All these things were just left here like this and all the people have gone away.”

But then I noticed a room with some people in it who were going about their lives as if nothing had happened. In fact they seemed to be floating through the air as if they were weightless. I had the thought that this was strange but not unexpected. Then I left that building and began to head south.

The third catastrophe was preceded by strange signs in the sky to the west just above the horizon. People will look up and say “What does this mean” and “Who can interpret this?” The signs preceding the third catastrophe were seen by me as I began heading to the south after the catastrophe in the north. They looked like images of people talking and such, almost like viewing a number of detached television screens in the sky. I began to think, “Well, I don’t want to stay here in the north and the west is looking kind of ominous now but is the south safe to return to? So I began to hesitate as I was going south…Then the dream ended.

In all of this, I never looked to the East.

And I awoke from the dream before seeing the third catastrophe come to pass.

Throughout the dream there was a strong sense of ominous dread or impending disaster from above, yet, no experience of fear, personally.

________________________________________

Summary of Vision One
(To the best of our discernment at this time, the pertinent symbolism
and the applicable meanings are presented here for Vision One.)

In each vision, especially Vision Two and Three, the participant/viewers of the visions are to be understood as symbolic representations of Christians that may be experiencing the actuality of the visions.

Vision One:
There are three future “catastrophes” that seem to be essentially spiritual or religious rather than physical in nature.
The second Miriam Webster definition of the word “catastrophe” below seems to be most appropriate to the meaning intended in the vision.
Miriam Webster Online Dictionary-
1 : the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy
2 : a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
3 a : a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth b : a violent usually destructive natural event (as a supernova)
4 : utter failure

The first will come suddenly, without warning and there will be considerable confusion as a result. It is represented as occurring in the South, but that is probably only a symbolic representation of the enemy’s camp and natural as opposed to spiritual. The second catastrophe represented by the North (Spiritual judgment by God) occurs within view of the inhabitants of a building (The church) A very large chunk of earth with city buildings (the church or Christianity as we know it) on the top of it hurtles through the air and crashes into the earth a few miles away, exploding, representing devastating change. This will be a trial represented by the slow running from the explosion which will bring Thoughts of the mind to be full of Dismay as represented by “a piece hit the back of my head (thoughts) As it struck me it disintegrated into a fine dust (Dismay) that settled over my head”
Entering the nearby building (The church) the vision participant kneels indicating submission/total surrender by Christians to the devastating change occurring with Christianity. Their absence from the room indicates their sudden absence from the church as the vision reports… ‘I thought, “All these things were just left here like this and all the people have gone away.” ‘
Another room is located with people calmly floating/flying through the air representing a peace-giving connection to the Holy Spirit.
The third catastrophe is preceded by ‘strange signs in the sky to the west just above the horizon. People will look up and say “What does this mean” and “Who can interpret this?”’ The West represents the coming of night or evening upon the corporate Christian Church as we now experience it and tremendous spiritual warfare coming upon the Earth.
People will anxiously wonder where they might find safety but they will for the most part, be so focused on their circumstances that they fail to take the time to look to the East (God’s light;) or act for (God’s glory).
The vision ends with the participant noting an awareness of impending disaster but no experience of fear personally. This is a cumulative exhortation appearing in all three visions to Christians not to allow fear to overtake them in response to their circumstances.
Vision Two: The Three Wolves

I also had a dream or more of a visit from the Lord last night (8/8/05).

A being of some form came to me who seemed formless, yet clearly of shape and substance… He carried a large black pot. It was irrelevant who he was, and I didn’t seem to need to ask anything about him, only to understand his purpose.

The large black pot that he carried was some sort of bean pot. It was sealed with a lid that he folded in on itself. The lid was a half circle in design, and the front half slid inside the back half to reveal what was kept inside. I was very drawn to understand how this lid worked, and it seemed somehow significant that the lid could not just be lifted totally off, but remained in place and only allowed a partial view of what was to come.
As he opened the lid I watched a scene in this pot, as wolves were released on the earth. They were solid black in color with the appearance, not so much of being large, as they were powerful. Their appearance was incredibly muscular in form, with long black scruffy hair. Their purpose was to instill fear and anxiety.
They entered my home, three of them. One was clearly the leader, the other a baby and the third quietly stayed in the back round. I stood in front of them and told them they could not come in, this was not their territory. The baby rose up to show his great power even in his small stature. I felt nothing, no fear and said that they must leave now. They were clearly disappointed and hung their heads, almost shamefully because they could not make me feel fear. They turned and walked from my house.

Then I saw the other people who had allowed fear to enter by the wolves’ presence. They were being lead into pens and stockpiled like sheep being led to slaughter. The fear seemed to blind them so they would not resist. They were calm and docile as they were piled together in these pens. They appeared unaware that they could resist. There were countless people calmly walking into these penned areas. They were not being driven by the wolves; the wolves were nowhere to be seen. Once the people had experienced the fear from the presence of the wolves they just went to the pens. They were being driven by the spirit of fear.

That was the end of the visit. I don’t seem to remember the presence of this being leaving or putting any closure to this.

That was all.

Summary of Vision Two
(To the best of our discernment at this time, the pertinent symbolism
and the applicable meanings are presented here for Vision Two.)
Vision Two:

In Vision Two, the participant / viewer of the vision indicates a visit by “A being of some form” (God’s messenger) carrying a large black pot representing quick devastation. The vision participant was shown a scene within the pot whereas wolves planning to destroy Gods flock were released on the earth. They were solid black in color (Opposite of white and purity/demonic army). Three of them, representing Complete, entered the viewer’s home representing the church/ center of the family or family of God. One was clearly the leader, the other a baby, representing in this case, ungodly ministry in its infancy stage and the third quietly stayed in the back round. The baby, representing ungodly ministry in its infancy stage, rose up, attempting to intimidate the viewer.
The participant stood (standing on or committed to a point of view or belief) in front of them and told them authoritatively (compelling them) that they could not come in; this was not their territory.
“They were clearly disappointed and hung their heads, almost shamefully” because they could not make the viewer feel fear. They turned and walked from the house (center of the family or family of God) hanging their heads, representing their spiritual authority, because they could not cause the participant to respond in fear.

The vision concludes with people (Christians) being led into bondage because of their fears. “Once the people had experienced the fear from the presence of the wolves they just went to the pens. They were being driven by the spirit of fear.”

________________________________________

Vision Three: The Three Spirits

That same night (8/8/05) I went upstairs to my room and my chair to spend time with God. This is my ‘sanctuary’ and when I am awake no evil presence has been allowed to enter.

I walked in and an evil presence was sitting in my chair. It was white, about my size and without any defined features. I walked up to it and said, ‘You have no authority to be here, you must leave’. It was stubborn and did not believe me so I reiterated the command (all in Jesus’ name) and it got up and left through the door.

As it left I saw a hidden companion, a smaller spirit that was hunched over and had been waiting and observing in my dressing area. It also left because it was a servant and advisor to the other who was the authority. The smaller spirit left through the back way (through the bathroom).

In my time with God I submitted my whole life to him, specifically in regards to being single (which may or may not be relevant to any of this). When I sat down again He crowned me with a unique spiral shaped crown that was silver and had many small diamonds. A moment later I looked over at my cat, Phantom, and apparently by the work of a spirit (not because she was possessed) she was glaring at me with intense hatred but restraint was upon her.
I determined that it was necessary to exert my authority over her, so I stared her down and felt immense power go out from my body toward her. She closed her eyes and bowed her head.

In all this I was not afraid of the challenge to my position of authority in Christ, of the spying of the enemy in my dressing room nor of the threat of evil represented by Phantom.

________________________________________

Summary of Vision Three
(To the best of our discernment at this time, the pertinent symbolism
and the applicable meanings are presented here for Vision Three.)
Vision Three:
The vision participant first notes the day of the vision which corresponds to the first and second vision – 8/8/05.
The participant travels “upstairs (Going higher in the Spirit) to my room and my chair” (place of dominion) to spend time with God and refers to the room as a “‘sanctuary” (the dwelling place of God/ His habitation in the body of Christ) where “when I am awake no evil presence has been allowed to enter.” But upon entering the room an evil presence is found to be in the sanctuary (the dwelling place of God/ His habitation in the body of Christ) and sitting upon the participant’s chair (place of dominion).
It is described as white (can also be purely evil – An angel of light/false righteousness) and about the same size as the viewer of the vision. The participant “walked up to it” representing living in the Spirit and because of resistance from the demonic presence, twice said (compelled) in the name of Jesus, ‘You have no authority to be here, you must leave’. It then “got up and left through the door” (the spiritual opening it had found to enter the room) revealing a smaller spirit who is described as hunched over, waiting and observing, and servant and advisor to the other who was the primary authority. The smaller spirit left through the bathroom representing cleansing; removing; expelling. The smaller spirit leaving through the bathroom instead of the main door to the area that the first spirit used also suggests various routes of infiltration into the “sanctuary” that the spirit’s have found opportunity through.
The participant then “sat down upon the usurped chair (throne of authority/place of authority) and He (God) “crowned me with a unique spiral shaped crown (To rule and reign) representing restored authority. The crown was silver (very precious to God) representing God’s feeling for the restored person in the seat of authority and had many small diamonds on it representing (gifts of the spirit) that are available to those who would choose to stand up to the spiritual forces and exercise their authority in Christ.”
Shortly thereafter, the participant notices the cat representing a crafty unclean spirit “glaring at me with intense hatred but restraint was upon her.” Refusing to be intimidated by the scare tactic the remaining spirit attempts, the participant ‘stares the cat/spirit down’ representing unflinching faith in the power of the Christian’s authority in Christ. Great power is experienced flowing out toward the spirit. The cat responds by “closing her eyes” (unnatural desire for someone else’s possession) and bowing her head (authority) to the authority of the faith-filled believer.
Finally, the participant, who is throughout the vision representing individual Christians, states that in “all this I was not afraid of the challenge to my position of authority in Christ, of the spying of the enemy in my dressing room nor of the threat of evil represented by Phantom (the last spirit).
This is an exhortation to hold fast to our faith when we are spiritually challenged in our Christian experience in these three different ways – by threat and intimidation (the threat of evil represented by Phantom), by the presence of evil men or spirits looking for opportunity against us (the spying of the enemy in my dressing room) and by those who would look to undermine or usurp our faith regarding our spiritual authority in Christ and our place within the body of Christ (the challenge to my position of authority in Christ).