God’s Love and a Human Story

A group of us have been reaching out to our local community with God’s love the past few months, meaning that we go out and just bless and pray for people on the street, in the mall, wherever. We share how much God loves them and pray for anything that is concerning them. I have yet to encounter anyone not appreciative of words of blessing and encouragement.

A few weeks ago as we walked through a local mall talking with people, I was greatly aware of how God loves people’s stories, where I have too often just seen a clerk in the store. As I engaged intentional conversation to know the person behind the face, I was intrigued in getting to know their “story”. I got to know James (not real name) who has owned his own shop for twelve years in a mall that I frequent often and have never been in his shop. Business is slow, His wife is a Buddhist and on a trip to China, and he’s not sure that God really loves him.

I talked with Cynda (also not her real name) who is working in her father’s retail store while she’s studying business in college. She grew up Catholic but doesn’t know what God’s purpose is for her life. She’s young, a faithful worker, but also wonders how much God really loves her.

And then there was Paloma (Spanish for “dove”—her real name), a beautiful young lady working her way through college at a sports memorabilia shop. She doesn’t know what the grand purpose God has for her is, what special gift He has placed in her, or how much Jesus loves her… but I told her He does…very much. I then prayed for her to know who He created her to be.  She smiled and said, “Thank you. That means a lot.”

I was overwhelmed as I spoke to these people that, while I’ve walked past them so many times, oblivious to who they are, He sees them. He watches the intricate details of their personal story—their concerns, their joys, their pursuits, their problems….and He cares. Deeply.

God wants people to know His love. That is HIS story. The greatest story ever told. One told through the blood of His Son—poured out, onto the ground, shattering sin’s chains, breaking the ancient curse upon us, and restoring us to the Father.

The blood of the slain lamb still speaks today, telling the story of God’s love. As the body of Christ on earth, don’t forget to share it wherever you are. To whoever you meet. It will change their life when His story intertwines with theirs. It did mine.

How about you? What’s your story?

 

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A Photo of God’s Face

pic by sodahead.comImages have been used from earliest times to tell stories, document history, and convey messages. They have the power to elicit thoughts, initiate ideas, and make us feel a vast range of emotions anywhere from joy to horror to delight or disgust. A simple photo can advocate a cause, share a celebration, and inspire the heart. One picture alone is powerful enough to motivate an entire group of people to action.

People everywhere use photos—even politicians. I was interested to learn recently as I watched a PBS documentary on the Power of Famous Faces, that Abraham Lincoln was one of the first of U.S. politicians to leverage the use of photography to get his image known to the people. Lincoln credited, in part, the success of his election to President by making his face familiar to the masses through the use of printed photos.

As I watched that PBS documentary, I felt the Lord speaking. God, too, uses the power of an Image to make Himself known to the world—to motivate mankind to action, that being, to receive His love. His image is seen in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6). And as Christ lives in us, we are the photo of God’s face to the world. Stop and think about that for a moment. The word “face” includes “the look” or countenance that reflects the inward thoughts and feelings.  God makes His innermost thoughts and feelings toward us known in the face of Jesus. And He makes His thoughts toward others around us through us! We, as the body of Christ, are a picture of God’s face to the world.

I paused and thought, Lord, I hear what You are saying. I want Your face to be seen through me in a way that:

  • inspires others with hope
  • elicits in them thoughts of Your goodness
  • helps them to feel Your joy over them
  • conveys Your empowering message
  • promotes Your ideas to them
  • motivates them to actions of faith

Lord, I want to make Your face known to my community!

I have had many people in my life “show” me the Father by living as the image of the Son. That’s my prayer today, to be in His image and make His face familiar to the masses.

What face do you want others to see? Would love to hear your comments.

J Nicole – Abba’s daughter

pic by Sodahead.com

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A Day of Destiny

On Memorial Day, 1923, then Vice-President Calvin Coolidge gave a speech entitled, “The Destiny of America”. In his discourse before the nation he stated, “If there be a destiny, it is of no avail for unless we work with it the ways of Providence will be of no advantage to us unless we proceed in the same direction. If we perceive a destiny in America, if we believe that Providence has been the guide, our own success, our own salvation, requires that we should act and serve in harmony and obedience…”

America’s founding forefathers understood that God had designed her destiny and worked in harmony with it. Thus, the U.S. has been a land of the free and a lighthouse of hope to the world. Her people have flourished because of the gospel of Jesus Christ present in the founding of this nation. However, today another force has broken upon the shores of America, like an enemy with a different design in mind—one not in harmony or obedience to the Father’s good will. Fear has taken hold of many as this dark shadow moves across our culture with a plot to rewrite our history, change our identity, and alter our destiny. But there is hope!

Jesus, the light of the world, is not content to sit and watch darkness prevail! The Lord of Hosts is raising up His mighty army for such a time as this. America’s days are not over yet! In fact, I believe that the greatest move of God is about to break forth on her shores. But God is looking for an army who will move with Him. And who is that army? The CHURCH! It is the hour of power for the Church who is seated in heavenly places for the earth’s wellbeing.  Together with Christ, we are anointed to heal the nations and transform culture. We are appointed with the Son for the Father’s work! And God loves America.

My friend, author Alisa Burns, and I have co-written a book called The Esther Mandate: The War for America’s Destiny. It is a small but powerful book regarding God’s calling for you and me to rise in the anointing given us for the life of this nation. Like the story of Esther, we as God’s people must unite in prayer and fasting, and embrace an edict of empowerment for the day of battle. This book will inspire your heart as you:

  • Remember America’s foundations with quotes by our founding fathers
  • Recognize the plot against her by an ancient enemy driving current troubles
  • Read powerful testimonies of answers to prayer and fasting
  • Realize the God-given gifts and anointing given YOU for such a time as this!

I believe this book will be a rich blessing to you–that is its intention. It is a quick but not casual read. One endorsement calls it “a 2012 prophetic awakening for America and the Church with deep revelatory insight that will connect you to your God-given potential to affect change in the world around you.” America has a God designed destiny…as do you.

Copies can be obtained on http://www.amazon.com or through our website: www.esthermovement.com. Please visit us and leave a comment.

J. Nicole Williamson – Abba’s daughter

http://www.identitymatterstoday.com

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The Empowered Bride of Christ

On my journey as a writer and speaker, I have learned the importance of how articulation with words impacts what we desire to convey. A simple phrase or even single word can seed a particular view in the reader or hearer’s mind. Words can either open the heart’s window with the light of truth or darken the soul with a false understanding.

I was reading a devotional this morning, and a statement was made that caught my attention: “When the wife is married, she at once falls into a new attitude, and acts in accordance with the fact…” While I understood what the author was trying to say as he went on to compare her relationship with that of the Bride of Christ, the one word that jumped out at me was “fall”. Why is she falling? Is she falling into line to do what she’s supposed to do? Why isn’t she rising to a new attitude of honored position and empowered action? After all, that is how I feel as part of the Bride of Christ!

I point this out not to be picky, but to make a point—I believe we are in an hour of Church history in which our very words must convey an understanding of our empowerment in relationship with Christ. While I fully embrace a humility before the Lord in holy reverence to Him as my Lord, Savior, Healer, and Deliverer, as His Bride He also lifts me up to sit with Him in heavenly places! I rise to a new attitude of being one with Him in victory.

As a natural wife, I understand the true biblical place of submission to my husband—the head of our union—with an attitude of co-operation to one whose Christ-like headship empowers me and lifts me up—not one that suppresses or controls me. I am a blessed woman! And so are all who are part of the Bride of Christ!

The fact is, if we embrace a concept that a natural bride is to fall into acts in accordance with a fact, it may lend our mind to think of her place as merely a servant…and one without authority. And as a woman, I have to admit: many cultures have made women feel that way. But Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, but friends…I give you authority.”

This current move of God is doing something special for women—He is restoring who they are and their place of dignity among men. Father is raising up His daughters in humility yet with authority. They are, after all, a natural picture of the spiritual Bride of Christ who is adored by Him. And if we view a natural woman’s place as being disempowered, then we will embrace the concept of a disempowered Bride of Christ. And that cannot be! Everything we are given in Christ is given to empower who He created us to be. He is a wonderful Head!

Jesus takes us, His Bride, by the hand and lifts us up into heavenly places with Him. We come humbly to Christ our Lord and Savior, but then we also rise to a new attitude, vision, and position—one of power, authority, and grace.

May we fall on reverent knee before the Lord, AND rise to a new attitude of being one with Him—an attitude of empowerment for action in co-laboring with Him for the Father’s purposes.

J. Nicole – I am my Father’s daughter!

http://www.identitymatterstoday.com

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SONS AND DAUGHTERS ON ASSIGNMENT

As I recently embarked on a new writing adventure – a fiction piece (not the picture shown here which is my non-fiction book about Abba Father) – I was describing the eternal realm when I had an epiphany. Among the endless differences between heaven and hell, I realized that in the place of eternal death there is no labor, no work, no assignments, no achievements. There is no purpose, no plan.

Some day we will all step out of time and into the eternal, and Scripture says that those who go on to be with the Lord do have assignments. They will sit with the Son, judge angels, and rule nations, and who knows all what else. The very intrinsic nature of God’s vast creation is laced with purpose—trees release oxygen that people need to breathe, bees pollinate flowers so the floral world can reproduce, the sun warms the earth so that life can exist…assignments that give life, sustain life, promote life in some fashion.

From the beginning, God created mankind for His pleasure and with purpose, to be fruitful and have dominion. Mankind was given an assignment for keeping and cultivating the earth with the presence of God, kingdom purpose, spiritual gifts, and with natural and innate abilities unique to each of us. Jesus came with an assignment of redemption. The Holy Spirit has been sent for a purpose of empowering the believer. Angels are sent with assignments of ministering to the heirs of God. The Church has assignments of service in multiple expressions. The Bride of Christ has an assignment to make herself ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

It is not human, but divine, that we search for purpose and significance—the plan of who we are and the works we are created to do. To be Christ-like is to embrace life as a son or daughter on assignment from the Father—a specific work that has global impact, whether we realize or not, no matter how small it seems in our own eyes.

What is your assignment? Do you know? Here are some steps to help bring clarity.

  1. What is your temperament and personality? Take some on-line tests if you don’t know. God “wired” you in a particular way for your assignment.
  2. What are your God-given abilities and talents that are just waiting for the breath of the Spirit to empower for service? What do you like to do? What peaks your interest, “floats your boat”? Where do you feel energized?
  3. What are your spiritual gifts? You can also take on-line tests for these to help show you the strengths that God has put within you.
  4. What is the Father saying to you? It may be a re-occurring thought that resonates as a desire to do something, some good in this world. It may come as comments from friends who know you and recognize your abilities. You may recognize His voice in a particular passion or dream.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you, to give you wisdom and understanding about your particular assignment as a son or daughter of God. Ask Jesus to continually fill you with His Spirit–His understanding will guide you.

You are here for a reason. You have been commissioned of God with an assignment that involves a particular work—both natural and spiritual together. And in that unique field of labor, as you go, preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, cleanse the leprous.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven… For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Matt. 5:16; Eph. 2:10)

J. Nicole – Abba’s daughter

http://www.identitymatterstoday.com

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Moving Forward in Life

Nobody likes feeling stuck, whether it’s with a job situation, a rut in a relationship, a stale internal state, or some other personal impasse. We suffer discouragement, boredom, or disheartenment and wonder how we can unclog the clog. Making progress and experiencing growth is how we are wired as human beings – these make us feel energized and that our engagements in life are meaningful. But a halt in momentum can make us feel buried in the sand by the shore rather than being in the flow of a lively river. Fortunately, being stuck doesn’t mean permanent paralysis; it simply shows that it’s time for new dynamics and strategy for a fresh surge of life.

God has a plan for overcoming the impasses in life—one with wisdom that releases us from the past, moves us through our present, and brings us safely into our future. Here are some helpful tips that I’ve found and used in times when I’ve needed that extra push to get me going out of a prison and into my purpose.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings – don’t stuff or ignore them. Feelings are handy—they let you know when something is wrong. Find out “what” they are saying then ask the Holy Spirit to show you “why”—what is the root of the “what”. Then you can address “how” to make changes with God’s wisdom.
  2. Forgive – grudges, resentment, and unforgiveness are clogs in wheels. They keep us stuck in a dark moment of the past. Be intentional with Christ-like love that sees God who is able to work all things together for good.
  3. Exercise – get your creative juices flowing through physical activity like walking, biking, swimming or even dancing. Physical movement is a good de-stressor that helps clear the mind and empower problem-solving ways of thinking.
  4. Identify patterns that may signify this is another trip around a familiar mountain. Is there a stronghold (internal negative belief system) that needs to be broken? Are you self-sabotaging with wrong choices? Ask some wise friends for their input. We all have blind spots in our life.
  5. Renew your mind with the Word of God. Create a faith-filled environment for the Holy Spirit to speak fresh counsel to you.
  6. Expect the answer to come to you that you need and rest in God’s timing. He is the God of hope (expectation of good). He is faithful.

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24)

J. Nicole – Abba’s daughter

http://www.identitymatterstoday.com

 

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The Pleasure of God

Yes, I believe that Abba Father loves to have fun—and I think His favorite game is Hide and Seek. It’s not that He hides things from us to taunt us, but for us to discover. God delights to draw us into relationship with Himself as we seek the meaningful messages He frames within mystery…and dreams are often the mystery He uses.

I woke with a powerful picture in my spirit the other morning—a message from God for me that I believe is also for His Body in this season. In what I call a “waking dream,” I stood at the entrance of our laundry room. I saw that the door leading into the garage was open, as well as the garage door itself was completely up. The light in the laundry room was on and seemed exceptionally bright, and instead of cars in the garage, there were bikes – perhaps three – that were neatly parked where a car would have been, standing parallel to the back door. It was light outside – a beautiful day.

As the picture faded and I crawled out of bed, my initial thought was: who left the doors open all night? As I made my way to the kitchen to get my morning coffee, I thought about the three things that were clearly prominent: the laundry room was “highlighted” (the ceiling light was very bright), the doors were open, and there were bikes instead of a car (we don’t have any bikes). After time in prayer, this is what I feel is the meaningful message in the mystery.

First, it was God who had opened the doors and was inviting me to take a ride with Him – not for ministry sake, but just for pleasure. It is an invitation not unfamiliar to me as I hold many fond memories growing up of riding bikes with my earthly dad – just me and him seeing the town, riding to a pancake house (our favorite), laughing, sharing fun moments together.

I believe we are in a new season of the outpouring of the Spirit not only of greater works, but a greater understanding of how God created us out of His good pleasure. As children who love their Father and want to honor Him, we take serious our call to righteousness and our “labor in the fields”. This is right and these are needed. But pleasure is also important with Papa. He says to delight in Him and He will give us the desires of our heart (Ps. 37:4). In His presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). He has pleasure in our prosperity and takes pleasure in us as we revere Him (Ps. 35:27; 147:11). And I think that includes revering His passions and delights and taking time to just delight with Him in the life He gave us. However, He also says that if we love pleasure (making it our pursuit above God), it impoverishes our life (Prov. 21:17).

Second, the way to the bikes led through the laundry room – a place where things that are not “appropriate” to a fresh state are removed. Those “things” may be sins that we are holding on to—or they may simply be things not suitable to being there, e.g. chocolate belongs in my mouth, not on my shirt; dirt belongs in the garden where it helps to make things grow, not smudged on my white pants. And of course there is the sweat (of self-effort) that needs removing, as well. So too, things (activities and alignments) from another season may not be right for this one. We may be holding on to good things, but they may be weighing us down, sucking our energy and leaving us empty. We find ourselves doing things out of duty rather than delight.

We were created to experience God’s pleasure—the One who delights in our prosperity. If you need to let go of something that is keeping you from being fresh in the Spirit, something that the Lord has been highlighting lately, then I encourage you to let go of it. Climb on the bike with Dad and let your hair blow in the breeze as you ride with Him in the pleasure of His presence and purpose with you today.

J. Nicole – Abba’s Daughter

Your Identity Matters Today – identitymatterstoday.com

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The One Hundred Year Vision Plan

I was inspired by a message today on having a vision plan for your life – one that includes a divine plan and strategy for you, your family, business, ministry, and even your region. And not just for the next twenty, thirty, or even forty years, but for the next one hundred.

That kind of thinking isn’t the “norm” for we Christians who have been raised for the rapture – after all, Jesus could come any moment and all those plans would have been for nothing. So as faithful end-time revivalists, we live and labor for the moment and with the thought of souls today. We don’t think of the souls that will live one hundred years from now (our great, great, great, grandchildren and those of our friends and the people we influence today), let alone plan for their wellbeing.

But we should.

We must.

Why? Because God is the God of families…of generations…of regions and nations. When is Jesus coming? I don’t know, but we must think big. We must think beyond – beyond our years, beyond our personal success, beyond our comforts. After all, Jesus does. He thought of you and me before the world began. He thought of us as He sacrificed His life. He thought of our welfare. He thought of our grandchildren, and beyond. Do our choices, plans and vision extend beyond our retirement?  Proverbs 13:22 says that a good man or woman leaves an inheritance to their grandchildren – they think and plan generationally, and not just with monetary wealth, but with who they are as a person—their choices, ethics, spiritual walk, and engagement with God in their God-given calling and abilities.

Good kings think long-term—beyond their years and personal sphere. They see their successors and plan. They view the territory entrusted them and plan long-term for its welfare. They war for its wellbeing not just for the moment, but for its enduring prosperity. We are kings and priests—spiritual fathers and mothers not only of natural children, but of spiritual children and of cities, regions, and nations—nations that will one day be eternally defined by the Lord Himself as either sheep or goats.  Our plans and engagements today make a difference for tomorrow’s tomorrow.

I have heard many sermons on “legacy,” but none so impactful as the one I heard today in calling us to make a one hundred year vision plan. What would that vision plan look like for you?

J. Nicole – Abba’s daughter

identitymatterstoday.com

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End-Time Love

I like to imagine living in a world where everyone is kind and gracious, accepting and encouraging, looking past differences, failures and weakness to see the treasure hidden inside one another. You know, where people work to forgive and overlook offenses rather than memorizing issues and holding on to grudges…I know, I’m a dreamer. And I’m the first to raise my hand and admit that such love is a path I’m continually learning to walk. It is a theme that Father consistently rehearses with me. And no wonder – He IS love!

We live in a world where – as a friend so eloquently put it – we bump into one another’s humanity…or perhaps, at times, it’s more like a crash! But we are called to love and love is the most Christ-like we can ever be. In fact, as Jesus prepared for His last earthly events, He told His disciples “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).  He knew they would bump and crash, but divine love was to be the prevailing mode of their relationships, one that would be as a beacon of light heralding His Kingdom to those in a dark world.

We are all aware of the times we are living in – a time that Jesus described as being marked with increase deception, false leaders, wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution, and when the love of many people would grow cold. It’s easy to let love grow cold when we’ve been hurt, rejected, betrayed, or ignored, and life is full of these. It’s “natural” to want to shove back when we’ve been pushed or speak out of pain when we’ve experienced loss because of another’s actions. But the Master Himself “came to His own” and wasn’t received by them—yet He loved them. The world crucified the Creator, yet He loved us and poured out forgiveness in the midst of the pain we inflicted—embracing our death so we can receive His wholeness. He loves us unconditionally and we are to love one another with that same love. It doesn’t mean we condone or justify another’s wrong actions, but it does mean we forgive and extend patience, kindness, goodness, and selflessness, instead of pride, arrogance, rudeness, or reciprocating rejection.

And why are we to love? Because to do so is to be like Dad.

After the apostle John had his heavenly encounter on the isle of Patmos (the Book of Revelation), he wrote to the Churches, “…everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God; because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). While the love of many may grow cold in the end-times, Jesus is calling His Body to be as He is – to displace disunity and disapproval with divine embrace, to minister His compassion that springs from the presence of the Holy Spirit, rather than the displeasure that seeps from our flesh.

Prov. 4:18 says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.  Lord, help us to leave the darkness of night where our humanity bumps and bruises with chaotic crashing, and rise together in the light of Your unceasing love!

J Nicole – Abba’s daughter

pic by aha.jokes.com

 

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The Joy of Receiving You!

We hear about the joy of giving, and how it’s better to give than to receive. But Father has been showing me lately the joy of receiving – and specifically the receiving of one another’s gifts.

Ephesians 4:16 says that each child of God has specific gifts that release a supply of the Spirit needed to build-up Christ’s body and to do the work of the Kingdom. The question is: are we warmly receiving each other’s gifts? Too often we look at one another with natural eyes, with personal tastes, and make decisions based on preferences that determine whether or not we will receive the gift of God within another – their words, insights, helps, wisdom, knowledge, gift of healing, miracles, prophecy, etc. When the heavenly treasure within the earthen vessel is overlooked and not received, so is the supply it brings.

I believe that 2012 is a new season of knowing what our gifts are as well as recognizing the gift of God within one another. Abba Father wants us to see His light within our brothers and sisters instead of seeing our differences. It’s time for the divine family to know each other after the Spirit and not by the flesh. And rather than dismissing another’s supply, ignoring it, or overlooking it, we receive it, affirm it, and embrace what the Holy Spirit gives through them. Can you imagine how strong the body of Christ would become if we did that? How much Kingdom dominion would be released on earth as it is in heaven by such unity? And besides that, it’s just plain fun to receive a gift from God through someone!

You are a gift of God and within you is a light and supply that I need, as do others. My prayer is that you see yourself with heavenly eyes to know what He has put within you – and then give what He’s given you. If it’s helps, then help. If it’s a gift of healing – then minister healing! If it’s prophecy, then prophesy! If it’s teaching, then teach! And if it’s encouragement, then practice encouraging everyone you meet. There’s a whole world out there waiting for the gift and supply of the Spirit inside you.

J. Nicole

Your Identity in Christ Matters Today

 

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