It’s Here!

So many voices… so many outlets and opinions. We live in a culture full of messages. Yet, there is one voice that I’m certain is not as loud as it could be… the Body of Christ united in prayer! I’ve written much recently about our desperate need for prayer for America. You can a read recent post here. All of the world knows we are hurting and in need of real solutions. It’s like watching your lost friend who refuses to listen to your claims of Christ and continues recklessly down the path of his choosing… We need to pray!

Weekend Warriors, have you looked at Marriage Building on Facebook and Twitter this weekend? We’ve started a July campaign: One Nation Under God. We’re standing in the gap for our families, communities and cities. The people of God are lifting prayers to heaven to intercede for America! And be encouraged- believers all over the world pray for our beloved nation!

Let’s fill up the bowls in heaven described in Revelation 5:8- “…golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

 

Cold, Hot, or Lukewarm?

“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” (Revelation 3:15-16).

Jesus speaks clearly to the modern church through these words written to an ancient one! They still apply to Christians today! In fact, all of His analysis and rebuke to the Church in Laodicea translates well to the Western Church. Are we fervent for the things of this world or for the things of God?

fer·vor- intense and passionate feeling.
synonyms: passion, ardor, intensity, zeal, vehemence, emotion, warmth, earnestness, avidity, eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm, excitement, animation, vigor, energy, fire, spirit, zest, fervency (Google)

Spiritual fervor means the qualities of Jesus Christ’s nature are ever-increasing in our lives (See 2 Peter 1:3-8), which, in turn, means we are active in building the kingdom of God. One who lacks spiritual fervor is “nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

Are you cold, hot, or lukewarm? If you’re hot, keep tending your altar- you’re burning brightly and impacting this world for the glory of God. And just like a natural fire spreads, your personal revival will affect your community of faith.

If you are cold or lukewarm, pray in the Spirit. Ask the Father for the Spirit’s infilling (See Luke 11:13) and “pray in the Spirit on all occasions” (Ephesians 6:18), but especially pray when you detect a numbness or an apathy in your soul to the things of God!

Praying!

Renee

 

 

Little Bird

Before I get into detail about the little bird in my backyard, take a listen to my friend’s exquisite voice in a lullaby she recently wrote. She entitled the song, “Little Bird.” You can go to the link here.

This morning I watched a baby bird hop on the ground in pursuit of its parent, and I knew there was something deeper happening that what met my eyes… Teach me, Father.

Let me backtrack a few days: last week I noticed a low-lying nest of baby birds as I did some work in my backyard flower beds. They seemed surprised at being discovered, but I gave them assurance that I would not harm them. A few days later, my daughter, Jordan, calls me to say she rescued a baby bird out of our pool, but it appeared to be injured and suffering. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of watching the little thing die. On my way home to her and the bird, I sought out options for medical treatment at our local animal clinics, but when I arrived and saw its improvement, I knew the best option was to reunite him with his family. Jordan stayed with the baby, and I went to the backyard to inspect the nest I found last week. I saw a match to the little guy now under our care. My husband put on surgical gloves and returned little bird to his habitat. Later in the day, we watched him take flight again and successfully reach other limbs.

Currently, little bird hops along the ground, seeking the presence of his parent. He chirps and bounces next to the adult robin so he can receive a meal. When the parent flies to the opposite side of our backyard fence, the baby bird tries desperately to reach her and even attempts to squeeze through the 1″ opening in the slats! The parent has what little bird wants, and he pursues her with passion.

Do you and I see ourselves as little children in pursuit of our heavenly Father? Do we have that desperation for Him, knowing that everything we long for in this life will be satisfied in His Presence?

One final observation: I noticed that the baby bird was priority for the parent. Whenever he tried to put his round, little body through the fence openings, she would poke her beak through and feed him. I see the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ in this illustration. I can hear Him say, “I’ll meet you where you are- even if it’s a hindered state. I want to nourish you because you were made for more than a ground-dwelling existence.”

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:29-31).

Maybe it’s just a needed reminder for you today- the eyes of the Father are upon you, Friend. He is very much aware of your need and is attentive to you. Are you seeking Him? In His Presence, you will find satisfaction. And know that you were created for more. Just like a bird is not made for the ground, nor are you made for a status-quo life. For all who belong to Jesus, the Spirit has breathed destiny into our existence, and we have been lifted up to the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus!

Check out tomorrow’s post on Sharing Love and Truth, “Spiritual Fervor.”

Watching and learning,

Renee

This Life Is an Adventure!

“Mom, we saw lots of healing miracles last week at youth camp. There was one camper…”

Okay, in my world, this makes for exciting conversation! I love to see my heavenly Father at work. In truth, the Holy Spirit is always present, always speaking, and always looking for open hearts through which He may reveal God’s love for us! He found quite the arena for partnership with heavenly realities last week! Those camp pastors, middle and high school students rallied in prayer for one another, and the transformations came! Restored hearing! Strengthened back! Full mobility! A medically-confirmed, drastically shrunken cyst! Surgery cancelled as a result! Come on! This is God! He is glorious and He is good- all the time!

Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but I’m shouting here! There are loud proclamations of holiness and worth happening throughout creation and in heaven 24/7, and it’s all for King Jesus! It’s almost as though we’re deaf to it… sometimes I reread Revelation chapter 5 to remind myself of the on-going celebration since Jesus resurrected from death. Can you just trust me in this? IT’S VERY LOUD IN HEAVEN!

So, what does that have to do with us- on the earth, living out a vapor-length lifespan? We have to live this thing with purpose and bring glory to God right now! The heavenly Father is all-knowing, and He has crafted days for us that will excite us beyond measure- only He never forces; we have the option of running from His glorious plan. But you don’t want that nor do I. We want to run toward our loving, heavenly Father; we want to hear His heart toward us and step out in obedience WITH FAITH, when the Spirit says, “Go, and reflect Jesus’ light in the darkness.”

Today is Tuesday Try-It, and my prayer is that you surrender! I mean, surrender to such a degree that you are uncomfortable! May you and I live hour by hour recognizing our need for God’s Presence. May we live fully aware of our complete dependence upon Him. May we be challenged to live by faith. Believe me, when we experience such a state of surrender, it’s anything but boring! The life of abiding in Jesus Christ is full of adventure!

Living on His goodness,

Renee

Create, Don’t Copy

Is it just me, or do you also get that “check” within you when we Christians promote our version in response to what people in the world are doing? For instance, the flag. I love the Christian flag and the pledge I recite expressing allegiance to Jesus Christ, but do I now use its image on social media as a response to the rainbow colors I see?

Here’s the tendency that I note within myself and other believers: we observe the popular messages promoted via media, then we produce our version that is true and holy. Now, I’m all for truth and holiness- it is my pursuit to know Jesus more, so truth and holiness are very much a part of my life. But the point I’m trying to make is who is leading whom? Does the world dictate the messages that should be front and center, and we, the Church, follow suit with the God-honoring version? Or, does the Church seek the heart of God so that we may convey His love, His Word, and the realities of His kingdom? What if this past weekend’s most popular image in our social media’s newsfeed was something representing the power of God due to the reports of miracles happening around the world in Jesus’ name? Wouldn’t that have more appeal than a mere copy of something the world is promoting?

God is Creator. He always has been and forever will be the Original. We are made in His image. We are not here simply to mimic the times with a Jesus version of pop culture; we are endued with power to build the kingdom of God.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).

My charge for the Church is to switch from a perspective of “copy power” to one of “creative power.” It is time for us to take back our families and our communities from strongholds of darkness. In fact, if you are willing, I invite you to join a social media campaign starting July 4 to do just that. We will unite in faith to declare the realities of heaven over our respective cities and communities. Look for these hashtags {#mycityhisname, #ideclare, #creativepower} and post your declaration for your city/community each day as well.  Marriage Building is hosting the campaign because we believe that families formed by a husband and a wife are the basic building blocks of a strong and healthy nation.

On a personal note, I’d like to share that sometimes, it’s very tiring to be an optimist! It requires a swimming against the current because the spirit within refuses to give up. Is anyone swimming upstream with me? Will we see a turning of the tide in America? Will she once again as a nation revere God?

If there is a stirring within you as you read this post, allow me to ask you the same question the Spirit of God asked Ezekiel:

Son of man, can these bones live?

Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!'”

Recall the outcome of this vision recorded by the prophet in Ezekiel 37- those dry bones came to life as the son of man prophesied.

Make sure to follow Marriage Building on Facebook and Twitter to join in the “One Nation Under God” campaign starting Independence Day!

Breathing out words of life,

Renee

Pray for Her

Many celebrations enshrouded the weekend for us Beamers: a long-awaited wedding of a dear friend, a baby shower for one I have known since she was a baby, and Father’s Day. In the midst of these joyous occasions, I would often stop and think of the hurting community in Charleston, South Carolina. Today, I am finally still and reflecting on America as a whole. She is bleeding, and her gaping wound can no longer be ignored.

Do you see the sheer desperation of our current state? The disease that has been spreading unnoticed for years has finally surfaced, and it splits open our last measure of defense. It’s like a blood infection that eventually causes a breakdown in the flesh, and our skin no longer offers needed protection. Pray for America- she is splayed open, allowing access to any and every type of invasion.

We are vulnerable.

I don’t define the disease the way many others do. I do not believe our culture is sick with guns. It’s not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. I don’t believe the disease is racial division, nor is it a lack of respect for authority. There is obviously hate at work in the heart of man, but even that is a symptom, not the disease.

America is sick with sin. While mankind has always had a sin issue, we are at a critical state in our land because what was once a well-known cause for brokenness leading to repentance is now heralded as good and right. Get with the new progressive way of living in America or get before a judge when I sue you for thinking the way you do. This is who we have become. The Church of Jesus Christ is told its voice is irrelevant. Put simply, we are told to shut up. The Bible is regarded as foolishness or in need of modification- surely the exclusive talk of judgment cannot still apply. People accept and champion my sin-riddled lifestyle, so God must do the same…

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

“We have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue- if sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that. The culmination of sin was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will also be true in your history and in mine- that is, sin will kill the life of God in us. We must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. It is the only explanation why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.” 1

Friend, the Church is God’s vehicle in the earth to turn the tide. Pray for America. Even the leper is miraculously healed when he comes to Jesus. America still remains, but her health is critical. Pray for her. Take this charge from Mother Teresa: “Love the person in front of you,” and see the turning of the tide right before your eyes.

Father in heaven, You are the author of life. In You, Jesus, we live and breathe and have our being. Holy Spirit, You strengthen us with boldness and power to overcome the temptation of the enemy. Your love, God, fuels our hearts with love. We will not succumb to the sinful nature of the flesh, but by Jesus’ death and resurrection, sin was put to death in us. It is through joy in this new life that we invite others to come to Your table and find true and lasting life. Jesus, we pray for America. We are thankful for this nation. We pray that our shining Your light will enable others to hear You knocking on the door to their hearts, and they will respond with opening the door to You. Strengthen us, Holy Spirit, so that we may boldly proclaim the kingdom of God. We declare by faith that Your Church becomes the pacesetter for culture, and we will see a changed nation. May America once again be a place for Your Name. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

1 Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost For His Highest. Edited by James Reimann. Oswald Chambers Publications Assoc., Ltd. 1992.

Let’s Stand in the Gap for Our Great Nation

I’m excited to share today a Marriage Building Event campaign taking place during the month of July.

The Marriage Building Event celebrates America’s freedom all of July with prayers for a united nation under God. We believe that God has positioned families in their communities and cities to stand in the gap and serve as ambassadors of the kingdom of light. We encourage God’s people to not grow discouraged by the increase of immorality in the land, because as long as we, His light-bearers, remain, the threat of total darkness will not come to pass!

Would you join the Marriage Building Event team each day in the month of July in declaring America a nation united under God? Will you pray for your community? Look for daily posts on Marriage Building (Facebook) and Marriage Build (Twitter) starting July 4!

Thank you for your continued support of Sharing Love and Truth!

Standing in the gap,

Renee

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