Open Doors {Prayer for Fundraising Banquet}

“Behold, I have set before you an open door that no one can shut.” -Revelations 3:8

Father, we thank you for all your amazing works.  We pray that on March 6, we will see Your glory unfold before our eyes as men and women share their story of redemption and healing in front of hundreds at the Deeper Still fundraising banquet.  We pray for the table hosts as they are preparing now and are inviting guests.  Lord, encourage them and we pray they would boldly proclaim your healing message of Jesus Christ with others who will potentially attend the event.  Would you open every door and opportunity for every person you want to be there to attend. May nothing hinder all you want to do that night.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, three people will share their testimony of God’s redemptive work from a stage.  These testimonies are powerful and will be life-changing for every single person in the room including the ones giving the testimony.

The first time a door was opened for me to share my testimony publicly was at a fundraiser for a local pro-life pregnancy center, the Hope Resource Center.

I sat trembling as the announcer called my name. Inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly, I rose up and walked to the podium.  The only noise in the room was my heart pounding.  Only a few steps were needs to reach the podium, but it seemed like a mile.  In reality, I had taken many steps the audience couldn’t see that night to be free enough to walk those few.

Again, I breathed.  The moment my feet touched the stage, I heard the Lord whisper in His love, “I am right here with you.”  Spiritually, I could see Jesus standing right beside me holding my hand.   Smiling at His loving hand, He infused courage to tell the story–His story of redemptive love.

The Lord gave me an open door that night–an open door to invite others into His story. An open door for others with abortion wounds in the room to hear the truth of His healing love and mercy.  An open door for those with critical hearts to be softened as they hear how abortion affects those who have walked through doors of death.  An open door for those on the side of choice to hear the reality of how this choice chokes life out of the clutches of those who have chosen abortion.

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He has set before us an open door. On March 6, this door is open.  An open door to share His great love with others.  An opportunity for His children to hear He is a God of abundant and extravagant mercy and grace–far more than we could ever ask, think or imagine.  That is who our God is.  And this is the opportunity we have–to share the reckless never failing and never-ending love of our Lord Jesus Christ with a hopeless and dying world who is desperate for the truth.

We just need to walk through the door.

 

 

Living Pain Free

old shack with scripture

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”  1 John 16:33

Father, No matter what we face or the pain we endure, you have overcome.  Thank you for your promise of living pain free in heaven and thank you for how you use pain as an indicator of a need for healing.  Lord, heal those areas of our hearts in pain and bring us into greater levels of freedom as we look to you our Healer.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The sun shone brightly overhead as we headed toward the East Tennessee mountains for a day of hiking in God’s beautiful creation.  While driving, we passed a billboard that boasted a promise unattainable this side of heaven.  The billboard read, “Live Pain Free”.   The car sped past the sign blurring the details of what the sign was promoting.  Regardless the remedy, it couldn’t possibly prove to extinguish all pain to the point of living pain free.

There is no magic pill or formula to alleviate all pain.  If there was a magic pill, would we want it? Perhaps we would take the pill promising pain-free living, but consider this: to feel no pain is to not feel at all—a numbing.  Pain is the symptom of a deeper wound.  It is the body’s way of crying out for healing.  Pain indicates our need for healing and our need for a Healer.  Without pain, we would be oblivious to the deep bleeding happening within and our need for the only Surgeon who can tend to the wounds.  Unspoken pain manifests in a way that mirrors the mess inside.  Pain triggers our awareness for the need for healing.  It is never isolated.  Pain spreads and seeps begging for care—pointing to our need for the Healer.

Once we begin to seek the Healer in response to our pain, His response is quick and vast.  He pursues the root of the pain when we invite Him into the deepest area of our hurts.  With our permission, He advances until all is healed.  Less and less pain until eventually all is healed.  The final healing may not manifest this side of heaven, but there are levels of healing where indeed we can live exponentially pain free.

The promise of living pain free cannot be found in a pill or earthly physician.  Only the Great Physician can lead us on this journey.  And in the journey, we will have trouble.  There will be suffering.  There will be pain, but we can take heart knowing His ever-loving arms and His presence overcomes it all.

He is the promise that has overcome the pain, He has overcome the world.

 

Just Say No!

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“But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Acts 16:18

Father, thank you for the authority You have given us as children of God.  Father, I pray we would learn to renew our minds to the truth of Your Word and recognize when our flesh or the enemy tries to crowd in on our thoughts with lies.  Lord, may we learn to live in your truth and say no to lies. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

My fifteen-year-old son sat at church with his high school friends.  I asked if I could sit with him and He willingly agreed.  He was in one seat and I was in the seat next to him.  As the worship music began, a fifteen-year-old girl crowded in next to my handsome son, right in between us!  Yes, you understood correctly.  I was in one seat, he was in the next seat and she sat smack dab between us.  A little put off, I moved over slightly to lessen the awkwardness of being squished in the sanctuary.

Standing during worship lessened the obviousness of the space invasion.  However, annoyance was soon replaced with irritation at her posture during worship.  Her phone seemed to be the object of worship.  Most may not worship golden calves in 2018 in the United States, but there are other shiny things clamoring for our attention.

The worship stopped and the sermon began.  Surely now the phone would go away.  The irritation meter was rising.  What happened next catapulted me to the edge.

This fifteen-year-old girl began leaning on my son’s shoulder!  In the middle of church! Knowing I’m his mother, she felt completely comfortable with not only sitting right between us and adoring her phone, but also now was lying on his shoulder?!  It was just too much for a mom to bear.

Lord, what do I do?  Just then, in a moment of clarity, my son’s eyes met mine and he mouthed the words, “Help me!”

“Help me!”  The sweetest words a mother could hear at that moment.

Without a moment of hesitation, I looked straight at the girl, lifted my pointer finger in the way moms do, and firmly said only one word, “NO!”

That one word was all that needed to be said. And just like the White Witch in Narnia sat at the sound of Aslan’s roar, this fifteen-year-old girl immediately sat up from her laying position, put her phone away, looked straight ahead, and said, “Ok”  in a voice that conveyed understanding.

Not that I am by any means Aslan, but as a mom and as a child of God, I have been given certain authorities.

When the apostle Paul was being bothered by a girl who annoyed him by constantly yelling “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation” and persisted in this for many days, Paul finally had enough. It says, “Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’  And he came out that very hour.”

There may not have been an evil spirit in the fifteen-year-old girl, but nonetheless, greatly annoyed, I  rose up with authority.

Thoughts of unworthiness or feelings of inferiority can plague those with abortion wounds. I personally struggled with these lies for years before freedom.  Renewing our mind to the truth of God’s Word does help.

We can only be free to the level we know the truth. 

However, only renewing our mind and taking full advantage of our authority is comparative to knowing a fifteen-year-old girl should not be lying on your son at church but then not stepping in to change the action.

We have that authority as believers in Christ.  We have authority to say, “No!”. When thoughts come against us that do not align with God’s truth, we can choose to just accept the lies or stand against the lies and tell them “No!”.

He has given us all authority in heaven for the pulling down of strongholds.  (2 Cor 10:4-5)

Any thought contrary to truth is crowding in on our space and needs to be told “No!”

 

Eyes of Wounded-ness

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“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. “  1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Father, give us new eyes to see.  I pray for hearts to be healed from the wounds of abortion so the eyes, the windows to our souls, can be cleansed to see clearly.  Wounds cloud our view.  Help us see the world, ourselves and others through your eyes.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The beauty of the ocean swirled before me as I gazed over the endless blue.  The view was breathtaking.  All my senses seemed alive while absorbing the smell of the fresh ocean air, the brush of the gentle breeze caressing my skin, and the sounds of waves crashing while seagulls begged overhead for their morning’s breakfast.  The ocean is indeed glorious and all seemed well.  My senses were not tuned to anything being amiss.

One of the resort workers came by my beach chair and asked if my sunglasses needed cleaning.  It was a courtesy of the resort to serve the sunglass needs of their guests.

Surprised by the request, I replied “Oh, no thank you.  I think they are fine.”

He paused as if implying I should allow the request, so I said, “Well, ok, thank you” and handed over the windows to the world around me.

He polished away with his cloth and handed them back to me within seconds. As I put the glasses back on, I was amazed at the difference!  Everything was clearer and crisper.  The glory of the Lord’s creation set before me was even more beautiful!

When I was viewing my world through the foggy sunglasses, what I saw was not the true picture of what was before me.  I only saw in part.  I only knew in part.

In this world, we have much trouble.  There are many wounds we have endured and continue to endure daily.  These wounds may cloud our vision of seeing truth.  We often see the world and others through eyes of wounded-ness.  This hinders our view and it hinders our love.

Someone forgets to text us back and we see it as rejection. Not because they rejected us but because we have projected the wounds of our past rejection onto that person.

Our spouse says something in jest, it triggers an old wound and we retreat in defeat or spew hurtful words in defense.  Meanwhile, he is clueless as to what just happened.

A parent was abusive, distant, or neglectful, and now we scoff at those in authority or fear they too will act in these ways. Our trust is forfeited and we withhold a part of ourselves.

A father did not love as he should have loved so now it is difficult to see your heavenly Father as the loving Father He is.  Eyes clouded by wounded-ness.  We cannot completely surrender and back away from communion with the Father due to fear of being fully known. 

 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly.”  Love diminished.

In heaven we will finally see fully.  We can wipe and clean our lenses, but there will always be a slight film blocking our vision from the true beauty around us we were created to enjoy.

However, as we are healed from past wounds and pains and allow the Lord to clean our lenses, the view does become more clear and accurate.

We don’t even realize how our own wounded-ness clouds our vision.  It is only when we allow the Lord to clean our lenses that we are able to realize how the fog was hindering our view and our ability to love.

This is a life-long process with the finish line crossing over to eternity in heaven.  But there are cleansing stations along the way.

The Father is asking you today, “Will you let me clean your lenses?”

What will your response be?

If you or someone you know needs healing from the wounds of abortion and you are ready to allow the Lord to wipe off the film of wounded-ness from your eyes, you can go to www.godeeperstill.org to find out more about our healing retreats nationwide.

Video

Offended by White Crosses

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“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Father, thank you that though our sins were as scarlet, you have made us white as snow.  Thank you that because of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, we no longer live in condemnation, but are rather free to live as beloved children of the Most High God.  Father, there is no condemnation in you.  Thank you that you make all things new, and heal us from even the pain of losing a child by our own choice.  Heal the deepest places of our souls and may we honor those who deserve our honor.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Dear Friends,

It is an honor and a privilege to be able to speak to you today about a topic near and dear to my heart–the white crosses.  Thank you for listening.  I pray my words touch you and bring deeper healing to those who need it. -Sue Molitor

 

 

If it is too painful to think of your child in heaven lost to abortion or if the white crosses make you cringe, there is healing.  If you would like to know more about how you can attend a Deeper Still retreat to receive more healing and freedom, please go to www.godeeperstill.org to find out more information about retreats.

This excerpt today was taken from a video of Sue Molitor originally presented at Park West Church in Knoxville, TN.

 

Atoning for Sin

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“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17

Father, no words are adequate to thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Thank you Lord that you have declared it has been paid in full.  No amount of work or service would ever be adequate to repay our debts.  Thank you that you do not require nor delight in burnt offerings.  Lord, I pray for those with the sin of abortion to come to you with a broken and contrite heart and to know the freedom you have paid for them to have.  I pray you would use Deeper Still to bring freedom to them.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The aroma of coffee permeated the air as words bounced between friends.  I shared about Deeper Still and how the Lord is impacting lives through this ministry and how blessed I feel to be a part of this ministry.  This friend, with good intentions, asked me a question I’ve never been asked before.  She asked if I felt validated by this ministry and if being involved in this ministry was a way of turning what Satan meant for evil into good.

I must admit the question took me by surprise.

Good question.  The answer without hesitation is no.  Let me explain for anyone else who has ever wondered the same.  Yes, the Lord does work all things together for good and for that I am thankful. However, my motivation for ministry hopefully has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the Lord and His people.  It is my passion for others to receive healing and be free.  It is my calling and purpose.  Any other motivation would be self-serving.

In the Psalm above, David is writing after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband.  David could have done much on his own to attempt to atone for these sins. However, service in response to sin often further hardens our heart and creates a distance between us and God. As we work to repay, we feel justified and pride creeps into inside crevices.  The only sacrifice pleasing to the Lord is a broken and contrite heart.  Only the life-giving mercy and grace now poured out in the atoning blood of Christ on the cross can justify, repay all debts and fully redeem and restore.  Self-atonement is death.  Jesus’ atonement is life.

Abortion is crippling.  The day I ended the life inside my womb is the greatest regret of my life.  If I could undo it, I would.  But no amount of serving or work could ever undo the deed or repay the debt owed.  There is only One who can and has and His name is Jesus.  To think I could ever repay is prideful.  What I do in ministry or writing or prayer would never be enough.  I’m thankful God doesn’t require me to strive to pay that debt.  No, He clearly states in His word, it is paid in full.

Motives are strong indicators.  As you read this today, I pray you would consider your motives as well.  Abortion has a way of seeping into our actions.  Good intentions and service are lined with bitterness if done out of self-serving, obligatory reasons, or as a way of atoning for sin.

My friend’s question was valid and it is one we all need to ask ourselves.  If the answer is yes in any way, we need to reevaluate our reasons for serving or self-sacrifice.

If you find yourself trying to “make up” for the sin of abortion with self-atonement, there is freedom for you.  Our retreats are free of charge.  Jesus has paved the way to freedom.  There is no reason to live in shame, guilt and recompense any longer.  Jesus came to set the captives free.  He longs for His daughters and sons to live in freedom with nothing hidden and no fear.  If we can’t be free, then what is this Christianity thing all about?  If it is up to us to atone for our wrongs, then what is the point of the cross?  Jesus didn’t come so we would continue to cower and live in fear of man, He came to set the captives free!  You don’t have to live in bondage from your past and live in fear.  There is freedom and it is for you.

 

 

Becoming You

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“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”  Isaiah 45:3

Father, pain and suffering from either choices we have made or from the result of abuse can cause us to close off our hearts. Those hurts can also pound our personality into variances of who we were created to be.  Father I pray for you to restore the treasures of darkness and raise up the hidden riches of secret places. I pray for healing for the abortion wounded and those wounded from pains of abuse.  Reveal your love, heal wounds, and restore identities.  Father, use Deeper Still to transform and restore your beloved to their true selves through the power of Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

In the depths of the ocean there are treasures we dare not venture to discover.  The depths are scary and dangerous.  It is not safe for mortals to dive into those waters.  However, the beauty beneath the waters is beyond our comprehension.  If we were able to travel to the deepest crevices of the sea, the treasures found would surpass anything our mind can conceive.

Our hearts are similar to the depths of the oceans-closed off from the surface and unavailable.  Pain and suffering from either choices we have made or from the result of abuse can cause us to close off our hearts. If we were to uncover the depths of our souls, the beauty found beneath the surface would astonish us.  The darkness of this world we experience through our senses has a way of distorting the person God created us to be, chiseling away until we have become a shadow of our true self. The treasures God put within us through our born-given personality have fallen beneath the surface, deep within, and forgotten.  These are hidden treasures captured by darkness, hidden riches tucked away in secret places, closed off and sealed in the name of self-protection.

Finding who we truly were created to be is one of life’s greatest treasures.  Years of emotional or physical abuse can squelch and oppress inherent beauty.  The only One who can safely go to the depths required to lift the years of agony that has crushed true identity is Jesus.  Only He is able to uncover the treasures the darkness has stolen and unveil the hidden riches that were locked away.  He knows how to remove the piles of plunder safely from the chambers of your heart.   And when He does, the beauty that is revealed will be stunning.

The key the Lord uses is not complicated nor is it a mystery.  Love in various forms is the key to unlocking the secrets places of our hearts.  It may seem too simple, contrite or cliché. Nevertheless, love is what draws the depths of our being out into the open waters.  Love digs up all the debris from pain, suffering, and belittling.  Love heals the hurts of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.  Love in large doses miraculously reverses the effects of personalities suppressed by being battered into a mold made from misery.

The love of Christ over time actually transforms you into who you were created to be—the most beautiful form of you—the real you. The you God had in mind when He purposely knit you together in your mother’s womb—the you He made you to be.  There is only one you. God put everything in you when He made you, designed and fashioned you to fulfill a very specific and significant purpose here on this earth.  That you is who our enemy fears and your whole life, the enemy of your soul has been on a quest to keep you from finding your true identity and self.  For he knows that when you become the real you and discover who you were meant to be that he will no longer have any power in your life.  Satan fears you.

Abortion is one tactic the enemy of our soul uses to steal, kill and destroy.  In abortion, the enemy wins.  Not only in ending a life of a child, but in stealing the identity of the one who chooses the choice.  The good news is that Jesus Christ wants to forgive, redeem and restore fully, not in part, but the whole.

The Lord knows what is hidden, He knows the treasures He placed in you long ago and He desires for all He placed in you to rise to the surface, no longer hidden, to be used for His Kingdom.   He calls you by name.  He longs for you to be the person He created you to be.  Will you let Him heal you and reveal what has been hidden?  There are stunning treasures lying in the depths of the sea.  Go deeper.  Discover what is beneath—who you really are—the real beautiful you.

A Year of Harvest

“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’ “ Matthew 9:36-38

Dear Heavenly Father, You know the harvest is plentiful.  We ask for an abundance of resources and laborers for the healing of those wounded from the pain and sin of abortion.  Lord, have compassion on the multitudes.  Lord, please send the resources and laborers needed for the harvest.  The need is great indeed for healing the multitudes.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

Below is a message from the founder and president of Deeper Still, Karen Ellison.  Friends, the need for healing for those wounded from abortion is great.  Just a few weeks ago, I received an email from someone desperate for healing asking why we only had 3 retreats a year in Knoxville.  Even though Deeper Still has been adding new chapters across the US, the need is still great.  Many more chapters are required to reach the multitudes suffering from the wounds of abortion.  The answer is simple—resources.  Will you pray with us for the Lord of the harvest to send what is necessary for the harvest?  Thank you for your faithful support in setting the captives free and bringing healing to the nations.  Below is a review of how your support has helped in 2017.  We are so grateful for all of you. Happy New Year to you!

Dear Friends of Deeper Still,

Prepare for growththat was the message the Lord gave us as we began 2017. And boy, have we felt the stretch of our tent pegs! We have so much to be thankful for as we come to the end of 2017. To say thank you feels inadequate for you, our faithful and generous prayer partners and donors. But truly your financial support and prayers over this last year have made the way for us to present to the Lord a new basket of abundant fruit!

Here are some of the words and phrases that we have spoken out this year to describe what we have experienced through Deeper Still:

Epic, Speechless, Arduous Perseverance, Spiritual Battle, Laughter, Sun-Stand-Still (miraculous answers to prayer), Breakthrough, Tears, Healing Rain, Waiting, Favor, Fun, Exceedingly Abundant, “What’s He going to do next?”

2017 Fruit…

* In Knoxville, we hosted 4 life-transforming retreats for 62 people.

* We just hosted our 2nd Chinese retreat here in Knoxville with Chinese participants and team members from both mainland China and here in the states.

* We took our 1st trip into mainland China to encourage our Chinese leaders as they put their first stake in the ground to establish Deeper Still in China. Those leaders were first retreat participants that received their own healing. Then, while there, we trained them to become team leaders. One month after we left, this small but powerful team of Chinese Deeper Still leaders hosted their first retreat for Chinese in China. This is first fruits multiplication!

* We held our annual Training Seminar here in Knoxville with attendees from 5 states eager to become “Freedom Fighters” with tools to minister healing to the abortion wounded.

* 2 new Deeper Still chapters had their first retreats this year and 2 more chapters just launched in the last quarter of this year.

* We hired a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) to help grow our infrastructure.

As we prepare for 2018, we are again expectant for more growth, more perseverance and more glory to God.

In January, our staff and board will be seeking God for His plans and purposes for Deeper Still in the coming year. Lord willing, this is what we know…

* We know there will be many more lives healed and transformed through our retreats and the retreats of our chapters.

* We know that more Deeper Still chapters will be launched.

* We know we will be making a 2nd trip into China.


Please pray with us as we seek God for His plans for Deeper Still 2018. I will close with the testimony of one of our Chinese participants:

“2017 Deeper Still Fall retreat helped me to experience repentance, forgiveness, renewal, victory in Christ, and a real taste of heaven through heartfelt worship, powerful testimony, biblical teaching, and prayer in a caring community.  Many people like Karen, Jerry, Sue, Kay, Sammye, and Paula personally touched my heart deeply.  How they love the Lord and faithfully serve the Lord encourages me to do the same.  The retreat mainly helped me restore and grow my love for my aborted son Dong Jinxi, but also helped restore my mother mantle.  I came home ready to love my children more, and ready to welcome Grace, our new daughter (just adopted from China) into my heart and our home.  The Holy Spirit set my heart free from many sins and unhealthy ties, free to love Jesus, love my husband and my children, free to serve my church and other women in my community. Thank you Deeper Still team!”

Will you partner with us for another year of fruitful growth? We need more staffing and funds to keep up with the rapid growth the Lord is creating.  Your year-end gift will be a down payment on our 2018 fruit – this ministry has become a movement. Will you continue to invest in the Deeper Still movement?

If you would like to participate with us through a financial blessing, simply click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Deeper Still.

Until all are healed,

Karen A. Ellison, President
Deeper Still

 

The Weary World Rejoices

Jesus Christmas (1)

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord …Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, ‘ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”  Luke 2:11-14

Dear Heavenly Father, oh how we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus.  Thank you that through Him, we have hope of eternal life and can rejoice and find joy in life here on earth.  Thank you for such a precious gift. We pray for those who are weary to be able to find joy, healing and rest in you this Christmas and see your hope.  We love you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

“A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices” is a line from the Christmas carol, “Oh Holy Night”. This Christmas carol happens to be my favorite.

It is only through a thrill of hope that a weary world can rejoice.  Hope is a strong word.  Many are suffering and enduring pains.  Hope at times can seem an out of reach aspiration.  But we must have hope.

Being in ministry has magnified the weary condition of this world and how vast the need is for hope.  The wounds of abortion and other wounds bring much weariness on the people of this world.   The world is wounded and this world needs the hope.  True hope is only found in the One who came in the dark of an oh so holy night long ago in the form of a baby…

Jesus.

God is a God of hope.  Biblical hope is defined as “having an expectation of a positive outcome.”  We can have this expectation because our God is good and we can rest securely and confidently in His love.  Even when things look bleak or the outcome is different than we imagined, we can trust in the goodness of His love knowing He is working all things for good.  The angels even sang it when He was born!  (Can you even imagine being a shepherd that night and seeing that?!  Amazing!)

Are you weary?  Is the thought of Christmas heavy on your burdened heart? Maybe your marriage is struggling or the divorce papers have even been signed, maybe you lost a loved one recently, or you received a bad report at the doctor.  Or perhaps the wounds of past hurts and rejection still sting and grievously weigh down your heart.  Whatever has caused weariness, I hope to encourage you today.  God knows.  He sees.  He cares.  May the joy of the season surround you.   Hope is right there.  Reach out and grab onto hope. Hold onto hope tightly.  He is right there holding on with you. He won’t ever let go.  Step out in faith and dare to hope. For yonder waits a new and glorious morn!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises(Romans 15:13).

This is my prayer for you today.  May you be overwhelmed with His presence this season and be full of the thrill of hope that you may rejoice in the Name above all names, Jesus!

May your Christmas truly be MERRY and BRIGHT!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

The Manger is Messy

“And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2: 12

Dear Father, thank you for not being afraid of a mess.  Even Jesus was delivered as love incarnate in the form of a babe in the middle of a messy manger.  Lord, may we all learn to embrace those who feel the vulnerability of a meager manger.  I  pray we would be love in the middle of mess. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

In the hall at church I saw a friend who has been through an extended season of hardships.  She was hurting, seeking, struggling with little hope left to hold onto.  She shared her wavering faith and plagues of doubt.

As she spoke, it seemed as if she was on an operating table opened up for surgery—inward parts lying out as the Great Physician removed the toxins inside and exposed the areas needing a touch of healing from the only One who can truly heal. Messy.  Not too messy for God.

She expressed her perspective of people being afraid of her mess and found it difficult to reach out to people during this prolonged period of pain.

Lovingly, I said, “I’m not afraid of messy.  And neither is God.”

We prayed together for inner healing.  Nothing is too big for our God to heal.

Roughly 2017 years ago, the Father ultimately expressed His love for us in the middle of a mess.  We often read over Luke 2 in familiarity.  Jesus was born in a manger.  He was born in a barn with animals,  animal messes, hay and farm-like smells.  It was messy.

Even the setting of Jesus’ birth reflects His willingness and profound eagerness to come into our mess.  What great love is this!

As the body of Christ, we too need to be willing and even eager to embrace and love others in the middle of messy.

On an operating table with messes laid out in the open is a vulnerable place to be.  But when we bring our mess to the Lord, He promises to cover us.  He never leaves us exposed.  When others are brave enough to lay out their messes before us, we as the church need to be a place that is safe, a covering of protection for our fellow sisters and brothers as they seek healing.

If we are ever tempted to think someone’s manger is too messy, may we always remember the condition our manger was in before Jesus entered in.  The world needs the body of Christ to enter into the messy and be the love and light of Jesus in the middle of the mess.

Please visit godeeperstill.org  to find information on healing for abortion wounds.