Posted by: heisourstrongtower | December 4, 2017

Reconciliation is the Word for…2018!

On October 15, 2017, during a service at church, I felt a nudge to use the word “reconciliation” as my one word from God for 2018.  I have been picking one word resolutions since 2012 and they have helped me navigate each new year.  I have a truth, my first one word resolution in 2012, to share with you…”reconciliation” will be a powerful word for me, if I truly follow the call that I know is being placed in my life through all the meanings of this word.

How many ways can we define reconciliation?

The first and most important definition is the reconciliation we experience through Jesus.

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Be reconciled

In order to better understand this wonderful gift of reconciliation through Jesus, I am going to suggest that you read Romans 11. It is a humbling read that will have you thanking God for opening the way for Gentiles to be grafted onto the branches of reconciliation with God.

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Thanks For Reconciliation With God

I rejoice and thank You Father that I have peace with You through our Lord Jesus Christ and have wonderful access to Your amazing gift of grace – through simply believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Thank You that although I was far away from You and wallowing in my sin and disobedience, I have been brought close to You Father, through the precious blood of my Jesus Christ –my Saviour. It is a thing most wonderful to know that through the cross of Christ the hostility that I had with You Lord, has been removed and I have been reconciled back to God and have not only become a a citizen of heaven along with all who trust in Christ Jesus and have been made a member of God’s household but also His beloved child and joint-heir with Christ Himself – There are no words sufficient for the thanks that I give You and pray that I may worship You for ever and ever. 

I glorify Your wonderful name that there is now no condemnation and that my reconciliation with God almighty is both permanent and eternal – for the wrath of God was poured out upon the innocent life of the Lord Jesus – Who took my place, so that I could be brought back into fellowship with You – and reconciled with God. 

Praise Your wonderful name for ever and ever and ever, 

Amen and Amen

It is also important to God that we be reconciled, as believers, with each other.

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24

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The reconciliation with others is where this journey is going to be taking me in my life during 2018 and beyond.  Truth…I have been remiss in this area and have felt justified in the divisions from others, in my life.  I have been wrong and God is showing how wrong I have been by allowing a chasm to be placed between my adult children.  It is a heartbreaking situation for me and I have some “fence mending” to do in my own life to display to my children what God requires of us. I will share in future posts about my journey down this path of reconciliation with others.  I do know that I have to move into restoring these relationships with a right heart and pure motive.

For Trust In Our Relationships

Oh God I come to You saddened in soul and with a heart that is breaking. You brought these special people into my life, for which I thank You Lord, and while for a time we were close –  now for many reasons, including my stubborn nature, things have gone sour between us and we have moved apart. 

Lord I confess to You that I acted in a way that was not appropriate and did not permit trust between us to develop and to grow as it should. Look down on us in pity I pray – and ask that You would open up an opportunity for us to be properly reconciled so that we may build up our relationship together. 

Lord I know that so often when we make foolish mistakes we have to take the responsibility for the outcome, which is not always the way that we would hope – but I do pray that our relationship is not finished and that in Your grace You would restore again the joy of being together and the special love we had for each other. 

Change Me Lord – remove this stubborn streak that has caused me so many problems in my life I pray,– for I know that this is not from You Lord – and make me more like the Lord Jesus, not only in my actions but in my attitudes and emotions. May Your will be done in our lives and even if we do not get back together – Lord, I pray that we may be reconciled, so that we may separate graciously and not in the current animosity. I ask this in Jesus name, 

Amen

The word “restoring” just happens to be a synonym for reconciliation and this leads me to another way we can be reconciled.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

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Our nation needs to be restored in right standing with God. And one of the calls upon my life for the remaining days of this year and in the new year is to be in prayer for our nation to be reconciled with God. I would love for you to join me in this endeavor, for the time is short and Jesus will be returning soon, and many people in our nation are missing out on having a relationship with Him. Let’s join together in prayer and through reaching out to others to help bring our unbelieving family, friends and even strangers to salvation through Jesus.

Prayer+for+Our+Country

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | November 11, 2016

Don’t give Trump so much credit, America

Absolutely Nailed It!!!

Purpose on the Prairie

In less than 24 hours since Donald Trump has been named the President-elect of the greatest nation on this earth, it’s become apparent he’s being given far more credit than he’s due.  There’s anguished cries of, ‘How will my children grow up knowing not to discriminate?’ or, ‘How can I look my daughter in the eye and tell her she has purpose?’  Really?  Really, America?  You have given Donald Trump, a mere mortal man, far more credit than he deserves, especially considering the man hasn’t even taken office yet.  Trump does not have the power to mold our families, that is our flat-out our responsibility.

Your children will learn to love or hate, be respectful or disrespectful, wise or foolish, not by the character of the family in the White House, but by the family in their house.  May I submit to you that your sons and daughters will be…

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | September 19, 2016

Hope Prevails #BookReview and #Giveaway

As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson believed she was prescribing the most effective treatments for her clients who struggled with depression. But when she experienced debi…

Source: Hope Prevails #BookReview and #Giveaway

 

I wanted to share this post with anyone who reads my blog. If you suffer from depression or have a loved one who is suffering, you can enter to win a free copy on Heather’s blog or just buy a copy of the book, Hope Prevails, for yourself. I have not read this book, but I am going to because I love someone who has this horrible disease. I need a godly perspective. I promise to share my thoughts once I have read the book.

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | September 12, 2016

Giving Up Control

I am going to begin this post with a confession.  I have not been attending church.

I have been somewhat of a lost sheep, as far as a church home, the last year or so.  When the Pastor at the church I was attending started preaching the prosperity gospel…I had to walk away.

To be totally honest, I did not leave the church as soon as it became apparent to me that his message was no longer biblical, because my grandchildren were enjoying their services.  When they became disinterested in what they were being taught, according to them the were learning the same things each month, my husband and I stopped attending.

It took me awhile to get over, and to come to terms with how my Pastor had changed.  I did try to attend church, but it was a half-hearted attempt. My heart was not in it.

Two weeks ago, my grandchildren were spending the night and Avery was with me at the dining room table.  She asked me a convicting question, “Mae Mae, why don’t you go to church anymore?” Her question was convicting, but I chose not to be open with her and answer her question.  I did not take the high road, I asked her the very same question, “Avery, why don’t you go to church anymore?”  It then became a tennis match, we sat there for a couple of minutes bouncing that question back and forth.  Not my proudest moment.  Her question made an impact though.  Her point was driven home further when, the very next week her dad asked me if I was still attending church. I did not deflect the question with child-like behavior, this time.

I took ownership and admitted that I wasn’t attending church and that I needed to do some church searching and some soul searching! I came to a couple of conclusions, I needed to get my life centered back on Christ and that can’t be done through a strictly on-line focused study.  I need to be present with other believers, live and in person. And I need to be honest about my faith life journey with all of you, otherwise I am just lukewarm!!

I am very happy to report that Peter and I attended church yesterday!  We both really liked it and feel they have a Bible believing/teaching Pastor.  But I will be more cautious than I was before and I will give it some time before we totally commit to being a part of this church family.

Now, before I share the first step in the 8 step process for Letting Go and Letting God, I also wanted to share a few things from the sermon yesterday.

  1. We must examine ourselves on a weekly basis – what did we do this week that put God back on the cross.
  2. We can’t live short-sighted, we need to be heavenly minded.  Discipline our lives so we will receive our reward. Make meeting Jesus face to face as our ultimate goal.
  3. Every morning put on the Armour of God and lay claim to who we are in Jesus.
  4. Make sure that we are standing on the promises, and not just sitting on the premises.
  5. And stop focusing on the present troubles, which could lead us to lose our hope in the future.

This song called O Come to the Altar touched my heart at the end of the service, another reason I felt more at home at this church. They actually had an altar call.  The congregants were invited to come forward to pray or to talk to one of the elders about accepting Jesus into their heart.  I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment regarding our new church home too, friends!

 

Moving on now, to the first step…

I came across this blog through searching on pinterest a few weeks back.  I felt that the information she provided was solid and biblical.  I read about her story and how she came to know Jesus…I feel she is the real deal, and I loved the fact that it says, “Helping Women Be Victorious Through Christ” on her website!  I thought she was speaking to us Women of Victory!!

How to Let Go and Let God

Above is the link to the full post, but I want to work on one step per day.  You will also find a link to a worksheet that can be printed off and used for each situation you need help with letting go and giving over to God.

The first step is to Identify the problem or problems, but only work on one problem at a time. Ask God to help you identify which problem should be dealt with first. Write your problems down in a journal and give them up to God to prioritize them for you.

I will be back tomorrow to discuss the second step with you and to, maybe, share what I learned during the identification process.

let-go

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | August 5, 2016

Be a Real Christian

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Lately, I have found myself at odds with much of what Matt Walsh has been writing, but on this post…he knocked it out of the park!!!

I was a member of a church, not that long ago, whose Pastor began to follow Joel Osteen’s philosophy of Christianity. He was worshipping at Joel Osteen’s feet, not at the Lord’s. I am thankful that God opened my eyes and removed me from the prosperity teaching. I pray that this post will help remove the blinders from other people’s eyes and expose the truth of the great harm being done by those who are preaching the prosperity message.

Excerpt from this post by Matt Walsh…click on the link to read more.

“Nothing — no faith at all, even a passionate hostility to faith — is vastly preferable to a faith in a perverted Christianity. An atheist is easier to save than a heretic. Put another way, it’s better for someone to reject Christ than to make up their own version of Him. It’s better for someone to hate the true God than to construct a fake one out of pieces of the real one and fall in love with their creation. It is better for us to be one or the other — Christian or not — than to find some supposed middle ground in between. As the book of Revelation puts it: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/joel-osteens-fake-heretical-christianity-isnt-any-better-than-atheism/

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | June 30, 2016

Sabbatical – Day 28 – You Make Me New

I wrote this 3 years ago on this day and shared it on my Facebook page. I love these memory reruns from Facebook!!!! They help me see my life over again, and help to remind of lessons from my past. Because sometimes you just need that reminder!

Here is a little rerun from my blogging past. I pray it blesses you this morning!

heisourstrongtower

“Good night, Patti. It’s time to close those eyes and sleep.”

“Mom, I need to say my prayer.”

“Okay, say your prayer.”

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

I promise you that it was no easy task for me to fall asleep, after reciting that prayer each night.  I would lay there as a child and try to sleep, but my definition of death, at that time, lay there right next to me…wrestling with my mind and keeping me awake.

I met my “old self” the other night in my youngest grandson, as I put him to bed.  There is a song I sing when I put my grandchildren to sleep, and even though Joshua is my youngest grandson…he is also my first.  (My daughter…

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 17, 2016

Lent-Day 7

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I shared with all of you yesterday how I was brought to my knees by a situation in my life, and how a devotion on prayer brought me my help.

Today I found this devotion from the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible and I heard God speaking to my heart through the words on the page. Change does not come through inactivity, change comes through action! Prayer is Love in action! There is no greater gift that you can give someone you love than covering them in prayer.

Won’t you join me? If we want to see change in this world we need to begin praying, with intention, over our little corner of it!!

A Pattern for Prayer

Nehemiah 1:1–11

In 1960s Southern California, the beaches were littered with hippies searching for the meaning of life through free love, psychedelic drugs and communal living. One day, a pastor’s wife went to the beach and was distressed to see the aimless kids and began to weep. Kay Smith determined to do something, so she gathered several of her friends and, as she puts it, “saturated the air with prayer.” She asked her husband, Pastor Chuck Smith, to open his church to this generation. Many people were shocked when the hippies showed up, barefoot and bedraggled, and sat on the floor rather than in the pews. But the Smiths embraced them. Their ministry was a vital part of the “Jesus Movement” that swept the country. It can be said that true revival begins with heartfelt tears but finds its voice in prayer.

Nehemiah, one of the most powerful Jews in Babylon, broke down in tears when he heard of Jerusalem’s miserable condition. He mourned for God’s holy city and scattered people. His compassion compelled him to pray and fast for them. His prayer reflected his heart’s passion and also offers a pattern for our prayers.

First, Nehemiah acknowledged who God is: “the great and awesome God.” When we focus on who God is, it helps to put our own problems into proper perspective.

Next Nehemiah acknowledged who he himself was: God’s servant. When we maintain an attitude of humility toward our heavenly Father, we are reminded of our dependence on God.

Then Nehemiah confessed his own sins and the sins of the Israelites. He didn’t gloss over the transgressions but stated them in honest repentance. Repentance freed him—and can free us—to make the next step in prayer.

Awed, humbled and forgiven—Nehemiah reminded God of his promises to his people. He recounted God’s promises to the children of Israel and interceded for his people, asking God to hear his prayer and favor him.

What situation has brought you to tears? If it is enough to touch your heart, it’s enough to bring you to your knees. Follow Nehemiah’s pattern: Acknowledge who God is and who you are, confess your sins and remind God of his promises. When you do these things, you can come to God knowing that “he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).

Reflection

  1. When was the last time you wept in prayer for someone who needed God’s help?
  2. What word best describes Nehemiah’s heart? Ask God to give you a heart of compassion like Nehemiah’s.
  3. Follow Nehemiah’s pattern and pray for a person or situation causing you to grieve.

Nehemiah 1:4
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Related Readings

Psalm 89:5–8; Isaiah 25:1–9; Matthew 6:9–13

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 15, 2016

Lent-Day 6

I shared on the Many Strands facebook page devotions, written by others, for the 4th and 5th days of Lent. You can click on the link below to read them,

Now for my day 6 reflections…

Circumstances beyond my control brought me to my knees today. I had absolutely no say in what was going on and the only options open to me were to love and pray.

Thankfully, God brought this devotion into my quiet time and it helped me to ask Him for the very love I needed, while I prayed.

http://www.satisfactionthroughchrist.com/2016/02/praying-scriptures-heart-love.html

Click on the link above and read the devotion and then comeback here and read the rest of my post.

This was my prayer for today, after I read the prompts.

I pray that my family would be firmly established in Your love, and that You would help us to grasp the immensity of Your love for us.

 

ephesians 3 17

I ask that You would fill our hearts, minds and souls with a love for You which knows no bounds. Help us to be obedient to You and to Your word.

Lord, help me to love other believers in a manner that shows the world how much I believe in You.

Help me to love the people in my life that I find it most difficult to love. Soften my heart towards them. Help me to see them as You see them. Please, help me to also quickly forgive those people whom I believe have wronged me. Let me be an example of Your forgiveness in this world. I want to wear Your love like a piece of clothing for all to see.

Thank You for sending Your Son to earth to die in my place for my sins. I love you for saving a wretch like me.

Lord, You know my heart is already heavy with this knowledge; not all the people I love most on this earth are saved. The cry of my heart is, “Save them, Jesus, Save them! Open the eyes of their hearts, Lord, they need to know You, they need to see You, they need to feel You.” Lord, I pray that You would bring people into their lives to be a witness of Your love and faithfulness.

If their is anything inside of me that is hindering my loved ones ability to know You fully, I ask that you reveal it to me and heal me from the inside out. Work in my life and help me to totally be free from any unforgiveness or hatred that is in my heart towards other people.

Lord, I pray  1st Corinthians 13:4-7, help me to be patient and kind, help me with any jealousy You find in my heart. I don’t want to be boastful, prideful or rude to the people in my life, or that I might meet in the world around me. Help me not to seek for myself, but to place others above my own wants and desires. Give me Your Spirit of love for all people. Help me to rejoice in Your truths and to share Your truth in a loving manner. I do not want to love others with conditions or to use manipulation to get my way. I want my love to be like Yours. I want to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things.

I do not want to be hypocritical, Lord. I want to love others with a pure heart and pure motives. Let my actions reflect the same love that comes out of my mouth, and may the words from my mouth be always uplifting and point others to You. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 12, 2016

Lent-Day 3

Day 3 of Lent, read…

Matthew 26:10-13

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

What a legacy Mary left for us to follow!

I am almost positive that the disciples were more concerned with how Mary’s actions reflected on them than with truly helping the poor. I believe they were playing the comparison game and they were coming up short, so they tried a diversionary tactic!

The one thing they forgot is that Jesus could see the temperature of their hearts and knew the true motivation behind their protests. He discredited their arguments and held Mary up as an example to follow.

I want to have a Mary heart! I want my motives to be pure! I want others to see Jesus light shining from me!

To hear someone say, “Patti really loves the Lord.”, would be music to my ears.

Healthy lifestyle note…I have a 4:30 appointment at Curves to get my exercise on!!! I am so excited to begin this journey!!!

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 11, 2016

Lent-Day 2

Matthew 26:6-13 “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it upon His head as He reclined at the table. 8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? 9 “For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.””

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Here is how Mark and John described the scene of Jesus’s anointing.

Mark 14:3-9 “And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her.”

John 12:2-9 “So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?”6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”

One of the things that stood out to me in these verses is how indignant the disciples seemed to be over Mary pouring the perfume on the head of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like wasting my expensive perfume either, but these were the Lord’s chosen 12. They knew who He was and understood that an anointing was used to honor someone. Why did Mary understand this better than them?

Something I learned today was that the perfume or “nard” was used in several ways, one was for use in burials and another was to honor a king. Mary was preparing Jesus for burial and she was honoring who He was, the King of kings!

Oh, that I may follow Mary’s example and not the example of the apostles. I pray that I will do all that I can to point others Jesus and that they are attracted by His fragrance through my words and actions and want to know Him better.

I wanted to add a side note to this post, just so you can see how much God wants to help us with our goals. I received a 30 day free membership to Curves in my mail today and I am so excited to begin using it. It had to be God, because I have not seen one of these offers, in my mail, for years. Thank you, Lord for the extra help and incentive! I am so grateful that you will make away and open doors to help me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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