Just Say Yes – Part 2: The Cost and the Gift

For me to just say “yes” is not a DO NOT GO TO JAIL pass allowing me to continue with life as I had been living it. Father might give me healing to demonstrate His love, but there is a need for me to desire and allow change. Otherwise, what’s the use? Why should God grant me my “wish” only to have me remain in the state in which I began? What good is that? How does that help me to remain healed?

I have found that my saying “yes” to God has two parts. The first is an expression of my desire. More importantly, it is permission for Him to be involved. The second aspect of “yes” is the desire to grow and change. I cannot overemphasize this enough; my life in relational-faith with Father God is a life of growth and change. That’s why I left the organized institutional church in the first place. There I found no impetus to grow. Here in relational-faith, I am loved by Him and He loves me. I want to grow out of love for Him.

No, this is not a free gift in the sense of me doing nothing to invest some of myself. I must float out of the way in yes and submission. In the midst of all of this work, I must continue to stay out of His way and keep saying, “yes.” I must do whatever it is that Father counsels me to do or invites me into. I must be proactive in this process. I must be willing to be transformed into the new, whole being that Beloved God designed me to become in the first place.

I have also discovered another fundamental aspect to this process of transformation. That is always the case. I must be willing to give up something I neither need or actually want in order to make spiritual room for what I do want. I’ve found that there is a need to let go of whatever it is that’s hurting me to make room for what it is that Father wants to give me. This too is a big part of saying “yes”.

There is a simple process of letting go that a friend of mine leads me through to help me. I’ve come to understand now that I can do this on my own in Father’s Presence. But at times, I don’t always see what is needed or how really very simple this release is, and so my friend’s help aids my focus.

What she has me to is in the Spirit. I see or visualize the thing that I am willing to release. I hold it out offering it to Father or to Jesus in both hands – palms up. I then see Him take it from me. I wait because His gift for me is then placed in my open, upturned hands.

Often I don’t know what it is that I’ve received. For me seeing in the Spirit is somewhat abstract. No matter, I almost always understand the precious power and significance of His gift to me. I know in my heart that this gift is many times more precious and more powerful than the misery that I’ve just let go of.

It’s interesting to me how all of this happens. On the one hand, God is willing and able to provide all that’s needed for my healing – spiritual and physical – but there is always something I must be willing to give up to receive what He has for me. I don’t always know what His gift will be. I am very often pleasantly surprised.

Release is the central aspect of the “yes.” I must freely let go of what it is that’s making me sick, spiritually or physically. I need to allow Father to make room within me for the new healed reality that He wants to give me – Amen.

God is not going to just zap me into becoming some new healed person so that I can just go out and destroy myself all over again. That’s not what will help me to become something new. That’s nothing more than codependency – He gives, I take, nothing changes. Nope, that’s not how love works.

Love offers the best of things, not items or objects, but things which empower us to become our true selves as God Himself designed us to become. That true self is a reflection of Him – period. That true self knows something of and lives in His Presence and His love. That true self loves to do what it is that it is designed to do and be – especially the be.

Always,

Lew Curtiss

FEAR OR INTIMACY

Intimacy or Fear

Last week was one of those weeks. Several people sent me links to videos about current events and politics. I am sure that they intend to help prepare people for disasters and difficult seasons. However, most of the time these videos are based on fear. When we operate from fear, we entertain the ridiculous. For example, President Trump does not have the power to invoke martial law globally. Every country in the world would have to agree with him on this issue. Have we ever seen all the governments of the world agree on anything? Why would we think this could happen now? President Trump also does not have a secret command base underneath Antarctica by which he will govern the world. How would that be possible? In what reality would China and Russia ever let go of their controls to let someone else protect them? When we get in fear, we react rather than think. (However, if you are in the right frame of mind, the absurd can be entertaining.)

All week long I found myself thinking, “If we just had more intimacy with God?” I know my Father. He is for us and wants to provide for us. So, what is the problem? We are in the way and are our issues in the way? Is our fear, our desire to provide for ourselves, and our ability to self-comfort all in the way of God’s word, His glory, and His love.

As I thought about preparing this blog, I found myself wondering how do I avoid just handing out another opinion? How do I resonate with your heart? I would like your feedback. I think the answer is in God’s love and intimacy because that is what keeps pulling at my heart. More love! More intimacy! Let me know if this is true for you.

I don’t find myself agonizing or panicking over current world events. Sometimes I think maybe we are headed for something like the race riots of the 1960s, or maybe civil war could break out again. Candidly, I spend most of my days enfolded in what God is doing. I see physical healings, provision, relational healings, and more happening daily. I am aware of God’s glory all over the earth even in these times. Because of being enfolded in all that He is and what He is doing, I miss a lot of the current goings-on. I am not saying that this is what God wants for you. Maybe you have found God’s will for your life and it’s to be in politics. But, if that is true, you will know because of the fruit you will bear. You know…love, joy, peace, patience are the fruits of the spirit. If you are involved in politics and full of frustration and division. Could it be that something is wrong?

I am going to share some scriptures with you. They are well-meaning. However, they are just words if they don’t sink into your heart. Can I encourage you to spend some time meditating on them?

Jesus is our King.

Revelations 19: 16 “On his robe and on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Jesus is our Lord and King. No one else should be king in your life, not the mayor of your city, not the governor of your state or territory, not the president or prime minister of your country. Yes, you should give your government what is required of you. These leaders were put in your life for a reason. But you don’t serve them. You serve your Lord Jesus first.

Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

God is the Reigning Authority.

Psalm 97:1, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;

    let the many coastlands be glad!

 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

 Fire goes before him

    and burns up his adversaries all around.

 His lightnings light up the world;

    the earth sees and trembles.

 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

    before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,

    and all the peoples see his glory.

 All worshipers of images are put to shame

    who make their boast in worthless idols;

    worship him, all you gods!”

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”God’s righteousness includes integrity, virtue, and justice. Justice is the act of setting things right.

Okay, that’s all I have for now. For you, I pray the peace that passes understanding. May you be enveloped in His love.

Anna

Intimacy with God

 

It’s your turn

Hebrews 4:3 says that his works have been finished since the creation of the world.  He has done everything he is going to do for you. What does that mean? He is sitting on His seat of rest, and He is waiting for you. I repeatedly hear people say, “I don’t’ feel close to God.” “I have no intimacy with God.” Then I find out that they are doing nothing about it. Peter, James, and John were Jesus’ best friends because they desired him and desired to be with Him. It wasn’t because he liked them better than the other nine disciples.

I wondered why people don’t do more to seek after God. I quickly realized it was mostly because of wrong assumptions and lies.  Let’s review a few.

Hindrances to Intimacy with God

  1. It’s a lot of work. At least that’s the way a lot of us think. I can almost feel my clients tense up and groan when I talk about seeking after God. But when you fell in love with your significant other, did it feel like work? No. You were wrapped in the mystery and adventure of getting to know that person. You desired to be with them all the time. It was difficult to leave them until the next time you would meet again. You thought about them all the time. That’s the way it should be for you and God.
  2. You don’t know what to do to get close to God. Rather than try something, you do nothing at all. Well, I will give you a list of ideas. But please, don’t just do nothing. There’s an old saying. “You can’t steer a ship unless it’s moving.”
  3. You don’t feel worthy. Hogwash!!! He created you. He desires you. You argue that you have done terrible things and have disqualified yourself. God doesn’t look at it that way. Moses was a murder. David was an adulterer. God made you. It is his heart’s desire for you to live in his presence.
  4. God doesn’t like you or love you. Somehow you believe that you were created a second-class citizen. You think that you were made differently than most people. Psalm 139 says that He formed you and knitted you together in your mother’s womb. It says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.” Also, Romans 8:29 For unto those who he knew beforehand, he also marked out beforehand the way that they might be conformed to the image of his Son. He has always known you. You just don’t remember. If you don’t believe this, tell me, and let’s work on it together.

The journey

It starts with you, your heart’s desire, and the effort you are willing to put into the adventure of knowing God. Artisans don’t become great without practice. If you desire to be full of His wisdom, if you want to fall in love with God, if you are yearning for His peace and His Joy, “you” must do something about it. He is waiting for you to come to Him. Why is he waiting? Because He has done His part. He wants you to seek Him. It will help you understand your love for him.  Matthew 6:18 also says,” Seek first the kingdom of God.” He’s a gentle person. He isn’t going to force you into anything you don’t want to do. My Dad used to say that the process is as important as the end result. It’s in the doing that truth gets cemented in our lives. He wants you to understand the value of your relationship with Him.

What’s more important to a man, a Mercedes. or a Fiat? The Mercedes because it cost him more. The same thing is true with God. Seeking Him will help you value God in your life.

So, what can you do to know Him?

 

Avenues to intimacy

  1. Read or listen to books You need to lay a foundation that is unshakable. It starts with knowing the bible and other supporting works like the Book of Enock, The Book of Jubilees, The Book of Giants. Why you ask? Well, 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show yourself approved to God.” Also, John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” The word know means to bury within you. I’ll say it again if you hate reading use an app like Audible and listen. If you have a short attention span, listen to the same book three times. You will understand something new every time.
  2. Learn meditation A great place to start is http://www.practicalmeditations.online/ This is Kirby De Lanerolle’s website. Another link is the Fuse Life podcast https://youtu.be/jyYS-48MvXU This is an interview with Taylor Remington. It will explain meditation to you if you are unfamiliar.
  3. Silence Spend time in silence and just focus on the presence of God. Start with just five minutes once or twice a day. If your mind wanders, it’s okay. Just do it again. You will find yourself more and more focused as you practice. Have you ever heard someone say, “We are changed in His presence?” This is one of the ways.
  4. Living Loved I highly recommend Katherine Wang’s course on intimacy with God. It’s a series of 20-minute lessons with practical exercises. Not only will it make you feel closer to God, but it will also improve your sanctified imagination.
  5. Sounds, Frequencies, and Sound Baths I know this may sound crazy to you. But it helps detox and align your cells. There are a few links I recommend for this. Elisabeth Cooper Music https://elisabethcooper.com/, Del Hungerford at Healing Frequencies Music https://www.healingfrequenciesmusic.com/ The third is Laura C https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6tTPQqW1ghZBoPm_BuGDdw. Listen! Sit silently in God’s presents. Things will manifest in you and through you.
  6. Divine Journaling. Get a notebook just for you and God. 1) Ask him a question and write it down. 2) Write down any thoughts that come to your mind. If you think it’s just your imagination or fantasy, share the journal with someone you trust. In time, you will know when it is you talking or daydreaming and when God truly answers you.
  7. Use your imagination You can do many things in your imagination. Go for walks with God. Dance with Jesus. Let Holy Spirit wrap her skirts around you like hugging your mom’s legs when you were a child. Sit on a park bench with Jesus. Go sailing or horseback riding with God and journal what happens. Again, if you think it is pure fantasy, share it with and friend and see what they think.

Well, that’s about it for now.  I pray this blog help’s you.

Anna

 

 

Waiting for your Armor of God?

You are wearing it now!!!

I just completed a teaching on the armor of God less than a year ago. Yet, I was working on helping one of my clients with her armor and more bits of revelation came to me. Consequently, if you have seen the teaching and activation on my YouTube channel, this blog will expound a bit more on this subject.

Do you remember in the 90’s it was popular to memorize and quote Ephesians 6 every day? It was recommended that you put on your armor of God every morning. For some reason that never sat well with me. I don’t know why. I just didn’t understand what good it would do. Everyone used the quote “put on the armor of God.” That was the phrase. “put on.” But, scripture doesn’t say anything about putting on the armor of God. It says to take up the arm of God, or it says to take unto yourself the armor of God. The Greek word, Dia, is used in Ephesians 6:13. It means to place with or to place in. Regarding time, it means through or during. So, we are to place the armor of God with us and in us. We are to have it throughout time and during time. What does that mean? The end of the verse says, “to withstand in the evil day. “  The word for evil here is, Poneros, meaning pressed and harassed by labors, bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble. Our world is currently in unrest. Many countries are living through political turmoil. A plague has spread throughout the world. It’s affecting the economies of most countries. It’s been sixty years since we have seen protests and rioting over issues that divide us. I think that is what I would call evil days. Wouldn’t you? Could it be that we need our armor now?

Guess what? Most of us have at least some of it on right now. And some of us have all of it on right now. We have our armor on because of our choice to seek after God and become like Christ. Do you know the difference between someone who chooses to tell the truth and a person of integrity? There are people who have no problem telling truth or lies. What they choose to say depends on each situation. It’s actually called situational ethics. The person that has made truth a lifestyle lives in it. Making truth of lifestyle means they are always wearing their breast of righteousness. Now that’s a person of integrity.

I used to think of the phrase in verse 17, the helmet of Salvation, as solely eternal salvation. But that’s not true. It’s salvation from our troubles. It’s salvation from the onslaught of those who would do us harm whether it be a war or someone trying to break into your house. It can be temporal and well as eternal of salvation. The same verse then mentions the sword of the spirit. What spirit? Whose spirit? Well, it means Holy Spirit and your spirit. This is my opinion. But I have come to think of it as the combination of the two of us. If the Holy Spirit is a gas and I am a gas, then we mingle. Gases mingle. Somehow, we become one cloud. Scripture says that both the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit are the word of God. What is the word of God? Most people would answer “the bible.” To be more accurate, it is revelation. When you have a relationship with God, He speaks truths and mysteries to you. Think about it. Have you ever had an “Ah Ha” moment? It’s God making know to you what his word truly means. The people who wrote the bible first had revelation. If they didn’t have revelation, nothing would have been written.  Simply, when you make living in His presence, receiving His truths, and revelation a lifestyle, you always have your sword and helmet with you and in you.

Are you starting to understand why quoting the scripture every day back in the ’90s caused me concern? Because no amount of memorizing the scripture or imagining dressing in it made the armor effective. When you carry truth, justice, God’s word, love, peace, and faith, with you and in you. Your armor is on!

Keeping short accounts helps keep the armor on too. Do you have peace with all men? Did you get angry and hateful recently? Did you choose fear over faith about an event in your life? Take a moment to give all of that to God and receive his forgiveness. Just like that! Your armor is on!

I would then recommend meeting with some friends and taking a look at each other’s armor. Its fun and you will learn a lot about your friends. Here’s the link to a video when we did it together.

Here’s the link to my video about your armor. I hope you enjoy it. https://youtu.be/yU74LaZoVz8

Blessings,

Anna

 

 

Healing Father Wounds

It has come to my attention that many people in our fellowship have what are now popularly called “Father Wounds.” That being the case, I thought maybe you also might be interested in how to heal these wounds. As a wholeness and healing practitioner, I have some observations.

This is what I repeatedly see.

  1.  You have a need for love and intimacy but never feel like you have obtained it.
  2.  You have difficulty being intimate and transparent.
  3.  You cannot imagine yourself in the presence of Father God.
  4.  You cannot imagine yourself hugged by father God.
  5.  You cannot imagine yourself in this throne room standing before father God.
  6.  You do not believe that God is your father.
  7.  You do not believe that you are worthy of god’s love.
  8.  You do not believe that God likes you.
  9.  You believe that you were created unlovable
  10.  You believe that you are not worthy to have a father’s love.
  11.  That somehow it’s all your fault.

This type of wound cripples your life.  It won’t allow you true intimacy in fellowship with others. It stops you from being a self-starter on any project or creativity you were involved in because you believe you’re not worthy.

It’s actually one of Satan’s strategies. It started at the end of World war II. Men came home from the war so shocked and traumatized that they withdrew. They believed that they could not talk about it. They believed it was inappropriate to talk about it. The result was a whole generation of men who couldn’t connect with others.  Hence, children didn’t have models as to what a loving and interactive father is.

The trauma these men had manifested an iniquity. The root of iniquity is a character defect. As an example, there is a long line of alcoholism in my family. Alcoholism was a visible sin. However, my family was taught to swallow emotions. Hence the character defect was our inability to express our feelings. Because we did not talk about difficult emotions, we drank and ate to comfort ourselves.

Heal Painful Memories

The first is to take your painful memories to the Lord and let him take the pain. There’s a specific protocol I use. But, it’s as simple as standing before Him and letting Him lift the pain out of your hands.

Once you’ve done the first step you will be amazed our how easy it is to forgive. Which is the second step.

Forgive

Exodus 34:7
Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,  but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Numbers 14:18
The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity
and transgression,
but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’

What’s the first thing mentioned in those scriptures? Love and forgiveness! Forgiveness is a significant step to your own freedom. If you don’t forgive that iniquity will be carried on through you to your next generation.

The next steps are found in Matthew 7.

Remove Judgement

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Instead of pointing the finger at your Dad and saying “You did this to me.” Ask the Lord to show you your Father’s pain. Ask for a miracle from the Lord. See your father’s pain.  Offer your father mercy. Understand that you may have to do this in your imagination because he made be dead or absent. Removing judgment from him will also start the process of removing judgment from your future generations.

Seek Love and Peace

Isaiah says to seek the Lord while he may be found. Hebrews says do not delay in entering his rest. There is actually a time limit on your ability to heal and clean this situation. If there is an unction in your heart to do so I encourage you to diligently seek after The Lord today.

  1. Ask the Lord to show you his love.
  2. Tell the Lord you desire intimacy with him and ask him to show it to you. It is very important to develop intimacy with God. I recommend Katharine Wang’s course on intimacy with God. At the writing of this blog, February 2021, she is just completing it and it should be up on the web soon. Here’s the link https://www.atcuniversity.com/
  3. Just like the widow knocking on the judge’s door, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. Knock until he answers you.

One thing I know for sure, he will answer you. I guarantee you that he will show you his love and intimacy if you let him. It’s up to you.

An abundance of blessings to you,

Anna

Intimacy or Fear?

Last week was one of those weeks. Several people sent me links to videos about current events and politics. I am sure that they intend to help prepare people for disasters and difficult seasons. However, most of the time these videos are based in fear. When we operate from fear, we entertain the ridiculous. For example, President Trump does not have the power to invoke martial law globally. Every country in the world would have to agree with him on this issue. Have we ever seen all the governments of the world agree on anything? Why would we think this could happen now? President Trump also does not have a secret command base underneath Antarctica by which he will govern the world. How would that be possible? In what reality would China and Russia ever let go of their controls to let someone else protect them? When we get in fear, we react rather than think. (However, if you are in the right frame of mind, the absurd can be entertaining.)

All week long I found myself thinking, “If we just had more intimacy with God?” I know my Father. He is for us and wants to provide for us. So, what is the problem? We are in the way and is our personal stuff in the way? Is our fear, our desire to provide for ourselves, and our ability to self-comfort all in the way of God’s word, His glory, and His love.

As I thought about preparing this blog, I found myself wondering how do I avoid just handing out another opinion? How do I resonate with your heart? I would like your feedback. I think the answer is in God’s love and intimacy because that is what keeps pulling at my heart. More love! More intimacy! Let me know if this is true for you.

I don’t find myself agonizing or panicking over current world events. Sometimes I think maybe we are headed for something like the race riots of the 1960s, or maybe civil war could break out again. Candidly, I spend most of my days enfolded in what God is doing. I see physical healings, provision, relational healings, and more. I am aware of God’s glory all over the earth even in these times. I make attempts to minister to those who reject me and my teachings. Because of being enfolded in all of that, I miss a lot of the current goings-on. I am not saying that this is what God wants for you. Maybe you have found God’s will for your life and it’s to be in politics. But, if that is true, you will know because of the fruit you will bear. You know…love, joy, peace, patience. If you are involved in politics and full of frustration and division. Could it be that something is wrong?

I am going to share some scriptures with you. They are well-meaning. However, they are just words if they don’t sink into your heart. Can I encourage you to spend some time meditating on them?

Jesus is our King.

Revelations 19: 16 “On his robe and on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Jesus is our Lord and King. No one else should be king in your life, not the mayor of your city, not the governor of your state or territory, not the president or prime minister of your country. Yes, you should give your government what is required of you. These leaders were put in your life for a reason. But you don’t serve them. You serve your Lord Jesus first.

Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

God is the Reigning Authority.

Psalm 97:1, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;

    let the many coastlands be glad!

 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

 Fire goes before him

    and burns up his adversaries all around.

 His lightnings light up the world;

    the earth sees and trembles.

 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,

    before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,

    and all the peoples see his glory.

 All worshipers of images are put to shame

    who make their boast in worthless idols;

    worship him, all you gods!”

Our Answers are in Him and His Kingdom.

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” God’s righteousness includes integrity, virtue, and justice. Justice is the act of setting things right.

 

Okay, that’s all I have for now.

For you, I pray the peace that passes understanding. May you be enveloped in His love.

Anna

 

Crystal Bowls? Ascension? Are there New Age Christians?

You are going to have to read to the end of the blog to find the answer.  But first, let’s talk. Do you want to live in the presence of the Lord? Do you want an ever-increasing sense of his love? Is your heart’s desire to see God’s plans and purposes manifest through this season in history? Better yet, do you want the end of the bible to be fulfilled? You know, the part that says we win!

Many of the activities and activations we participate in at NW Ekklesia freak people out. Let’s discuss a few.

ASCENSION – We get lots of complaints like, “you are living in a fantasy.” We are told we help others live lives outside of reality. I have two comments. First, we have seen the positive effect of our work too many times to doubt it. We have seen severe weather patterns change several times. Economic conditions in various regions have changed. We ascended with a group of representatives over the nuclear issues of North Korea before President Trump met with Kim Jong Un. Now they have frozen their program and made a commitment to replace it with healthier sources of energy. There have been too many results to think it’s just playtime. Second, ascension had been happening for centuries. Read Madame Guyon or Teresa of Avila. For that matter read the bible. Paul talks about a person being caught up in the third heaven.

CRYSTAL BOWLS – Were invented in the 1980s. Handheld bowls didn’t appear till 1995. They are computer-generated and a product of modern technology. One of their main purposes was used for healing in chronic health issues like curing cancer. Many religions also like them.

NW Ekklesia has and will remain forerunners. We are not afraid to try what others shy away from. If we are wrong Father God will let us know because Jesus Christ, His love, and the simple truth of the Gospel are first a foremost of importance to us. It is our desire to advance God’s kingdom with power and authority. History reveals to us the methods that we employed in the past “ain’t gettin the job done!”

Now to answer the question in the title of this blog. Are there New Age Christians?  You betcha! There are New Age Christians. You might be one. Anytime you use seeing the spirit, the gifts of the spirits, translocation, prophecy, meditation, etc. for personal advancement, personal power, or to manipulate someone, you are acting as New Agers.

Pardon me if I have insulted you. But, focus on God’s love and His relationship with you. Stop being tripped up by an unfamiliar activity or old teachings that are incorrect.

 

Hugs,

Anna

 

Is a Workman Truly Worthy of His Hire?

Image by Pixabay

There are several scriptures that relate to the phrase “a workman is worthy of his hire.” To name a few: Luke 10:7, 1 Timothy 5:18, Mathew 10:10, Leviticus 19:13, and Deuteronomy 24:15. CLICK HERE to read those scriptures in Bible Gateway.  Consider looking at each scripture in a variety of translations. Depending on your religious paradigm, the interpretations will vary.

Here’s the issue with our standard belief system concerning people getting paid, specifically to “minister.” For some odd reason, we seem to have it in our minds that since “freely you’ve received – freely give.” This scripture comes from Matthew 10:18. CLICK HERE to read a variety of translations in Bible Hub. I encourage you to read those translations before looking at the definitions below. Once you’ve done that, look at the original Greek in Bible Wheel. CLICK HERE for that information. Here is a synopsis of those definitions.

  • FREELY: δωρεαν dorean {do-reh-an’} without a cause, in vain, for nought, freely, undeservedly
  • RECEIVED: λαμβανω lambano {lam-ban’-o} receive, take, have, catch. To take, to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it, to take up a thing to be carried, to take upon one’s self, to take in order to carry away. Without the notion of violence, i,e to remove, take away. To take what is one’s own, to take to one’s self, to make one’s own. To claim, procure, for one’s self. To associate with one’s self as companion, attendant – of that which when taken is not let go, to seize, to lay hold of, apprehend. To take by craft (our catch, used of hunters, fisherman, etc.), to circumvent one by fraud. To take to one’s self, lay hold upon, take possession of, i.e. to appropriate to one’s self. Catch at, reach after, strive to obtain. To take a thing due, to collect, gather (tribute). To take, to admit, receive. To receive what is offered, not to refuse or reject. To receive a person, give him access to one’s self. To regard any one’s power, rank, external circumstances, and on that account to do some injustice or neglect something. To take, to choose, select. To take beginning, to prove anything, to make a trial of, to experience. To receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back.
  • GIVE: διδωμι didomi {did’-o-mee} grant, put, show, deliver, make. 1) to give 2) to give something to someone of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage. To bestow a gift. To grant, give to one asking, let have. To supply, furnish, necessary things. To give over, deliver. To reach out, extend, present. To give over to one’s care, entrust, commit. Something to be administered. To give or commit to some one something to be religiously observed. To give what is due or obligatory, to pay: wages or reward. To furnish, endue. To give, to cause, profuse, give forth from one’s self. To give, hand out lots. To appoint to an office. To cause to come forth, i.e. as the sea, death and Hell are said to give up the dead who have been engulfed or received by them. To give one to someone as his own. As an object of his saving care. To give one to someone, to follow him as a leader and master. To give one to someone to care for his interests. To give one to someone to whom he already belonged, to return 4) to grant or permit one. To commission.

Let’s take this scripture and reword it a little and see if that changes the meaning. Here’s the original in the NIV: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Now, let’s replace the words freely, receive and give with another translation that might explain the scripture a bit better. “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Undeservedly you have laid hold of; undeservedly deliver.” There is nothing in any of the above definitions that points toward receiving pay for services rendered. There is no hint of that anywhere! On the other hand, when looking at the scriptures in the first paragraph, there is clear evidence that a workman is truly worthy of his hire. Bottom line, when people provide a service, pay them what they’re worth. If you don’t agree, go somewhere else.

With that, we move onto a story. Many reading this know that I’m a musician and create music for the purposes of it being therapeutic. In addition, I create exercises and “practice” opportunities (available on this site) for those on a journey of Christian maturity. In a sense, they are both a form of ministry. The music is more acceptable by the church for “pay” than teachings. In the minds of some, I should be giving out these materials for free. I also get that request (only from Christians) on the Healing Frequencies Music website, especially those who really want a particular album but can’t pay for it. In fact, Christians tend to be the cheapest and want something for nothing. The only rude correspondence to date has come from those who say they are Christians – 100% of the time. What does this say about the Christian community as a whole?

I see some strange attitudes when it comes to Christian conferences as well. Conferences aren’t cheap to host. People fail to realize that renting a building, purchasing supplies, and paying service providers costs money. There’s this paradigm of “God will provide” so you should just let us in for free. I was at a conference where a group of women all wanted a teaching set. They agreed to pool their resources so they could purchase the whole set (as a download) and share it among themselves. In other words, the woman who purchased it would then send a copy of the downloads to the other women so they’d all have their own copy. I watched this play out for a bit while they discussed it and eventually asked a simple question, “Do you think that’s a good trade?” Long story short… after some further discussion, they decided not to go through with it.

When you do a job, you’re providing of form of “ministry” to someone whether it be fixing a vehicle, cutting your hair, giving your money to the teller at the bank for a deposit, etc. That person is doing something for you that you can’t do yourself. So, he/she is ministering to your needs. To understand more of why I say that, consider reading my article about ministry vs. jobs. From what I’m reading in Matthew 10:8, it doesn’t direct any meaning toward providing services for free. There aren’t more scriptures that seem to point to that interpretation either (unless I’m missing one) but there ARE plenty of scriptures that address being paid what you’re worth.

The topic of a workman being worthy of his (or her) wages intermingled with the “freely receive, freely give” concept has messed up some people because we tend to swallow what’s preached at us – hook, line, and sinker. We haven’t been responsible for our own spiritual growth because we allow what pastors teach us as “thus sayeth the Lord.” We seem to have no problem paying a pastor… well…  most of the time. They tend to live on next to nothing and have to get a second job in order to make ends meet while we demand their attention to “fix” issues in our lives that we could often fix ourselves by putting at bit of effort into a good solution. This includes Christian counseling, which I had first-hand experience during marriage counseling. What’s the point if we’re not going to do what’s suggested?

Image by Pixabay

Here’s the thing…. when you pay for something, you have ownership in/of it. When you don’t pay, you have zero ownership unless the giver chooses to turn over the ownership to you. A gift is a choice by the giver, not the recipient. I was at another conference where one of the speakers kept coming up to the booths saying, “You’ll give me one of those for free?” It was more of a demand than a request. This is all about trading. When you trade, you’re exchanging one thing for another. We can have good trades and bad trades. Much of that depends on our attitude in the midst of the trade. If there’s an expectation that something will be free, that’s a bad trade. I have another teaching on trading so I’ll not go into those details here. CLICK HERE for that post.

The Bible also states that we’ll reap what we sow. If we sow bad trades, we’ll reap bad trades. If we have expectations that things will be free because we believe they should be, then we’re not operating with honor or good character. That’s also a bad trade. A good trade involves putting something of value towards what you desire. When you do it that way, you own it. When it comes with an expectation, that’s of no value because it dishonors the giver. Let the giver make the choice to freely give.

We now get back to the main point at the beginning – a workman is worthy of his hire. That’s plain and simple with little room for misinterpretation. When reading the various versions of the Bible on this subject, there does seem to be uniform agreement. That’s not the case with Matthew 10:8. Hmmm…. I find that interesting but will leave that up for your own pondering as to why that is. The key here is that in order to make a good trade, both the giver and recipient should be on the same page. If you find something overpriced, then don’t moan and whine about it. (There is cheese to go with that whine.) Go find something within your price range that works for you. This includes counseling, receiving services of any kind, attending conferences, etc. If we simply don’t have the funds, then let’s not put it on the giver to lower the price enough that we can have what they’re offering. This might be a growing opportunity for each of us to learn how to exercise our faith muscle and see how God provides.

Image by Pixabay

Why expect someone to meet our needs and desires when we can use a situation as an opportunity to sit with Jesus and discuss His best plan? When we learn to look at our situations through the eyes of Yahweh, we often have a completely different picture of the process and any solutions that go with it. As we learn to move from our personal expectations and paradigms to those of Yahweh, we grow in character. I encourage all those reading this to get outside old religious boxes of expecting things to be free just because of a perception that it’s “ministry related.” For many of us, what we do replaces a 9 to 5 job. We have training in our fields and offer a high quality product. Why should we be expected to give our product and services for free? That attitude is not honoring the God-given gifts of the giver. Even when something is offered for free, it’s “good form” to sow into that person or ministry. What it does is release more blessings over you! It opens the door for more!

Honestly, it took me some time to work through a bad paradigm concerning this topic. The “freely receive; freely give” Bible verse was used as a weapon to get me to give things to people. This included time, service to a ministry, and physical items or services. It’s a rampant problem in the church, especially for those in the artistic community. Why conference hosts often don’t pay the worship team is beyond me. Those leading worship tend to spend more time on the stage than guest speakers. It seems that we have our priorities a bit messed up concerning two things: 1) the definition of a worker, and 2) our expectation that ministry should be free. I believe that as we honor those who meet our needs and desires (via our pocketbook), we’ll see more breakthrough in our finances.

May you be blessed in your giving and receiving!

Del

© 2019 Del Hungerford

 

When Life Throws You Lemons

The phrase “when life throws lemons” seems to pretty well spell out the “sour” parts of life that are often not pleasant. How do we deal with those? Do we even NEED to deal with them? These are two of the most asked questions I hear when it comes to life circumstances and how to handle them.

One thing I’ve learned over the past umpteen years of my life is that life happens – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We live in a world where it’s “all about me” and what’s best for me. When we have that attitude, it’s pretty difficult to see beyond ourselves. Unfortunately, society seems to be training us to become self-focused. Yes, some of that is good but there is an overboard to everything. Too much of a good thing perhaps? It’s the pendulum swing that hits both extremes. So, how do we find the balance point?

On my journey into wholeness, I’ve had many opportunities to look at life circumstances in a new light. I share some of my own journey in the video titled “Embracing Trials” at The Gathering conference for NW Ekklesia in the summer of 2019. I encourage you to watch it so you have an idea of how I view it when life throws lemons my direction. Here’s the deal…. various religious organizations treat the subject of trials in a variety of manners. The most popular version of that is “Well, it’s God’s will for me to go through this.” Uh, really!? I’m not sure where that teaching came from but how can a loving God purposefully force trials on us? Would you do that to your own children? Of course not! The best “teacher” in getting through life allows us to learn from the “school of hard knocks.”

The other popular belief is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s the attitude that we should never have to go through trials. We then spout off a “command and demand” wording. When we do have struggles, we think we’ve done something wrong. There is some truth to this belief because science does say that our thoughts and intents really do affect us. We should be careful with what comes out of our mouth. The Word also says that “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” It’s in Proverbs so have fun looking it up. Where people get it wrong in this belief is the idea that we should never have to deal with trials and tribulations. My question to those people is “How are you going to learn to deal with life if nothing ever goes wrong?” When we don’t experience hardships and then learn how to practice working through those hardships, we don’t mature. It’s like giving a kid everything they want growing up. Then, when they move out of the house, they don’t know how to handle any form of opposition that comes their way. Since I teach at the college level and have for over 30 years, I see this first-hand. I call it the “entitlement” attitude. When we feel entitled, we assume things will go as we expect. When we expect, we don’t honor those around us. And, when things don’t go as expected, entitled people don’t know how to handle it.

How then do we handle life when it throws lemons at us? I’ve been on a journey for several years now in learning to look at trials in a new light. At the same time, I’m also learning that Holy Spirit speaks to us, giving us a “heads up” at times, too. It’s those thoughts that flit by that we often ignore because they don’t make sense. I’ll use a recent example in how I actually paid attention to that “still small voice” coming from within. I recently purchased a new computer because the old one started having issues. I researched before deciding what to buy. I looked at consumer reports, talked with computer geeks, and consulted those knowledgeable concerning computers. I finally settled on going directly to a computer company rather than a retailer. The salesman walked me through the options after I told him what I needed. At that point, we began to talk price and all the add-on options, one of which included a premium support plan. At first, I didn’t want to spend the extra money but something within said it was a good idea. I’ve never done it before but the thought of having technical assistance for a lengthy amount of time intrigued me, especially since I just moved to a small town where there’s limited resources.

Long story short… A Microsoft update fried a few things on the new computer after I’d had it only three months. Because I had the premium support plan, the company sent a technician TWICE to my house to replace the fried parts. Many days and hours later, my computer was fixed. Yes, it did hinder progress but I chose not to let it frustrate me. The day after everything was fixed, I was sitting in my heart garden having a discussion with Yahweh about it. He said to me “Do you remember when you felt the nudge to purchase the premium support?” I thought about that for a moment before He replied, “You listened to My voice… When you listen and then do, those things minimize the chaos of a situation.”

I learned something new from that conversation. When we spend time developing a relationship with the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), out of that relationship, we learn to function IN Christ which in turn infuses a frequency of entrainment with the Trinity from that relationship into how we live life on earth. How many times do things flit through our mind that are directly from the heart of the Father? We ignore them because they don’t make sense. And, we’ve not practiced hearing His voice. Those thoughts can prepare us for an upcoming situation if we pay attention. No, having computer issues wasn’t fun. However, I did rejoice because it didn’t cost me anything to get it fixed and I didn’t have to send the computer back. It was still operational in it’s fried state but on a limited level. So, I still got some work done. For me, this was a victory because I listened without the understanding of why I should do so. The more we practice doing this, the less life’s lemons have the potential of wreaking havoc on our lives.

As you watch the video of my presentation at The Gathering, you’ll get the opportunity to see how I walked through seven years of uncertainty about my living situation. I share times I messed up as well as those I got right. (Because the original video didn’t turn out, I re-recorded it once I got home. And, it allows you to see the entire PowerPoint presentation.) I’ll be honest, the years 2012 – 2019 were a bit tricky. I had no control over the eminent domain process. What I DID have control over was my attitude and response to the situation. I chose to make lemonade rather than eat sour lemons from this experience. I matured through it, learned to legislate from the heavenly realms, met territorial angels, understood more of what’s on my life’s scroll, and received a better home than what I previously lived in. I believe that had I chosen more negative responses, things would be different. I understood this was an opportunity to learn and grow in the midst of a circumstance. How I chose to do that was totally up to me, even when I didn’t have control of the outcome.

CONCLUSION…

When life throws us lemons, it’s important to pick them up and ask Father, “What should I do with this?” This helps us put on the right attitude that in turn sets the wheels in motion for us to walk through the circumstance with honor. Life is simply going to stink at times. It’s HOW we deal with a situation that determines the level of peace we walk in during the circumstance. When we step into the heavenlies and partner with the Trinity, making our relationship with Them first and foremost, we create character building practice sessions. Without practice, we don’t mature. In order to mature, we get to go through trials. If we keep facing the same trials, that means we’ve not yet passed that test. That’s when I go before Yahweh seeking the truth, even when I may not want to see it. Ultimately, when I make the decision to deal with junk from my life, I get to be free of those things that hold me back.

Finally, as we develop that intimate relationship with the Trinity, we’re able to recognize that still small voice. If we give priority to building an intimate relationship with the Trinity, we learn to function from our true identity IN Christ. This is a perfect life opportunity to practice hearing the voice of Yahweh. But, it’s best done when our focus is on building relationship. It’s not about going before God and saying, “I need this from you today….” Everything else begins to fall in place OUT of that relationship. May you enjoy making lemonade out of life’s lemons!

Del

© 2019 Del Hungerford

Life can be Painful!

 

Boy, I’m telling you. There are seasons and then there are seasons. As of late, I feel like I’ve been living in a coffee grinder. I’m ground up, but refined. I’ve had to look at myself in a new light. I found things inside of me that I didn’t know existed. They were mostly lies. I had a great fear of loss. I didn’t know that I thought myself unworthy of God’s provision.  I also found that I had difficulty accepting honor from others. But, I believe the biggest one was, “Who would want to listen to me.” Seriously, you can’t travel, teach, and speak when you are continually tripping over these issues. Yet, God kept nudging me forward.

 

In the process of searching my heart. I found that two sections of scripture had become extremely meaningful. The first is the Beatitudes, chapter 5 of Matthew. The second, Psalm 36, verses  5 through 9. I going to tell you about the most meaningful verses and leave the rest alone for now.

The Beatitudes (CSB)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Have you ever felt that? Dear God, “There is nothing left of me!   I am nothing, and I have nothing to offer.” Then it dawns on you that through Him, you have so much more. Your inheritance “is” the kingdom of heaven. In and of God, you have exceedingly more than enough to live in the kingdom of heaven here on earth and do His will.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Have you had a dear loved one die? Have you lost realms and reams of friends because of the path God has directed you to walk? What about a near-death experience? There’s nothing like being told you were dying. Oh, let’s not forget bankruptcy. Financial trouble because you lost your job or your mate left you is such a stressful experience. The only place to turn is to God. Only he can truly help.

Recently, I  spent the evening crying and singing worship songs? I knew it was okay to mourn. I knew joy would come in the morning. However, for that moment it was all I could do to just grieve.  And… joy did come in the morning!

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

I have lost count the number for times I’ve cried out to Him. I  just wanted to see His face and know Him. I’d call that to hunger and thirst. Wouldn’t you? Did you know that righteousness, in this case,  means to be just like Jesus? God says He sees the end from the beginning. He sees us as whole and complete. That means we are already just like him. As we accept the truth, and our faith grows, the manifestation of Christ in our lives will become obvious.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Recently, I stood my ground on some issues. I held someone accountable for their actions. I told them they needed to repent. Remember, that repenting is a change of mind which brings about a change of ways or actions.  Consequently, I was pronounced bitter and unforgiving. That’s a very mild form of persecution. What would happen if another religion or government told you that you had to renounce your faith? Wowsers! I think it would take the grace of God to live through that. But, the end result is that the kingdom of heaven is yours. I think the more we ascend and spend time in the kingdom of God that it will become an increasing reality to us.

Psalm 36 is the cap to my blog today. It’s all about His love for us. He is our refuge in intimacy. We are safely nestled next to His body under his wing. When we stay in His love, we see His provision from His house and His wellspring. What a picture of love that is me.

Take a moment to meditate on this passage. It will comfort you and encourage you. Especially if life has some challenges right now.

Psalm 36 (CSB)

Lord, your faithful love reaches to heaven, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your judgments like the deepest sea.

Lord, you preserve people and animals.

How priceless your faithful love is, God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They are filled from the abundance of your house. You let them drink from Your refreshing stream.

For the wellspring of life is with you. By means of your light, we see light.

 

See you in His light,

Anna