God, You, and America in 2016

Ask God 2016One of the things I love about God as a Father is how He wants us to participate with Him in what He does, including His plans for our nation. God designed heaven and earth to work together in beautiful unison.

It is why Jesus prayed, “…on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is why angels work with us for the purposes of God.

At the beginning of every year, my husband and I spend time praying and listening to God for His focus for our lives in that year. This year, His direction for me comes from Psalm 2:8 where He says, “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” My first thought when I read this was, why does God want me to ask Him for an inheritance? As a parent myself I am preparing everything so that when I am no longer here, everything I have will automatically go to my kids. They don’t have to ask me for it. It’s already theirs.

So I asked God, “Why do I need to ask You? ”

Questions often lead me to great though challenging answers. Here is what I found. To “ask” (Heb. “sha’al”) means: to inquire carefully, to seek counsel, to ask as matters of business. Business is about creating wealth. With God, wealth manifests in myriad ways…spiritual, emotional, understanding, as well as financial. Anyone who runs a business understands there are many dynamics involved for it to prosper; each area must be functioning optimally. God, too, wants us to prosper in every way. He wants America to prosper in every way as He designed for it in His goodness.

God is not a puppet-master who controls people to make things happen. We each have a unique part in working with Him for the full prospering of our lives, communities, and nation…a nation that will one day be Christ’s inheritance and ours as His body. I believe the “matters of business” not only involves prayer, but actual business too and if we seek His counsel, He will show us new ways to prosper in creativity and entrepreneurship.

In other words, we each have an important part to engage, with God, for America’s destiny. America is in a pivotal year and our engagement for her direction is critical.

What is your part?

Here are 6 Ways to Partner with God in 2016 for America:

  1. Pray and ask Him what He wants you specifically to do. Seek His counsel. If you ask, He will show you.
  2. Spend time in prayer with music that opens your heart to His presence. Pay attention to the thoughts and pictures you see in your spirit-man that are from God. Write them down or draw them. Maybe even paint them. Bring them from the invisible realm to the visible as an agreement with what you hear from God and form them into a prayer. That prayer may be for someone specific or a people group.
  3. Get involved with what God wants to do in your community in practical ways. God wants the best for our regions and nation.
  4. Watch for new business ideas or ways to prosper this year. Believe in the beautiful way God made you and move forward as He shows you how.
  5. Connect with others who are praying over the city, county, and state.
  6. Pray for God’s choice of leadership for America this year. And vote for who you hear God telling you to vote for. And vote! Yours might be the deciding voice.

This is what I’m doing in 2016 – asking how I can partner with Him for a nation.

What are you doing in 2016?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Gratitude - ciceroThis week we celebrate Thanksgiving with warm meals made with love as the heart of family and friends reconnect around the dining table. It is a memorial of America’s early immigrant settlers’ first successful harvest in a new land—a feast shared with the Wampanoags who aided them in planting crops. It is a time of remembering how the pilgrims had survived harsh beginnings in an unfamiliar place, yet with the help of strangers.

Every one of us has faced challenges and difficulties in life. Some we have overcome with fairly easily solutions, while other trials have overwhelmed us with grief or even left us emotionally wounded. Nevertheless, one thing remains sure—we are not alone and we are not without hope. We have God who watches over us night and day and who sends us people to help us on our way.

This is what makes Thanksgiving so special — a feast that is honored from generation to generation as we celebrate the truth that we not only need one another, but that we have one another, and we are grateful for one another. We are grateful that God has given us Himself, our family and friends—grateful that we are loved and that we can love others because God fills us with His radiant love.

The ability to be grateful is a gift from God. Gratitude is a radiant force that harnesses our often-troubled thoughts with positive energy. It redirects our focus, lifting our vision to see fresh possibilities greater than our obstacles and challenges. Gratitude empowers us to see our past, present, and future in new ways—with hope and faith. Gratitude is the guardian of joyful perspectives when circumstances tell us otherwise. It inspires our heart with the sweet remembrance that we are loved and valued by One who works all things for good, One who can work miracles and wonders right in the middle of our impossibilities…one who surrounds us with the love and encouragement of friends and family.

Let this Thanksgiving be a time of remembering how much God loves you and is able to do above and beyond what you could ask or think in whatever area of challenge you may be facing. Let it be a time of remembering good things as you gather with family and friends.

May you be blessed from above in this special time of year.

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess.5:18

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Fathering a Nation

Life with Abba Father front cvr MasterToday in America we are observing a National Day of Prayer — a corporate time of dialoguing with our Heavenly Father specifically about the wellbeing of our nation. We are talking with Him because we need Him. We need His counsel, wisdom and guidance for lives that prosper in divine purpose. And what’s more, He wants to help us because He loves us. He knows that our own understanding is not sufficient for the greatness that He has called us to, and that left to ourselves we perish.

The prophet Malachi said that when the hearts of fathers and children turn to one another the land would be healed. It is family love that is the key to a nation’s wellbeing, and the key to family love is relationship with Abba Father whose heart is already turned toward us. As the Initiator of our life, His love brings the healing that we desperately need as individuals, families, and as a nation.

Just as the heart of a father celebrates his child and works in every way to see that child flourish in life and purpose, so Abba deeply celebrates us and wants to see us and our nation prosper in divine purpose. Love is how He sees America. As a Father, He wants to see our families and our national family prosper in His good plans for us. His presence with us is the most significant thing we can have for that end.

Here are five ways to draw close to Abba Father and pray for our nation:

  1. Have faith in God — believe that your words are heard and valued. Abba Father both hears us and speaks with us. As people, we draw close to those who value our life and there is no one who loves and values us more than God who created us in His image. Our words carry weight in the courts of heaven as we align ourselves with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We may tend to pull back from those who we feel only tolerate us — but that is not how our Father views us. The more we are grounded in His love, the more we are free to draw near, share our thoughts, feelings, and desires, and listen to His…and pray them with confidence and authority. Psalm 5:3
  1. Believe that God has our nation’s best interest in mind and America is on His heart. God is not a distant supervisor of creation who is just waiting for someone to break a rule and move in with a heavy hand. He is a Father who has a purpose for everything and desires to see us prosper with intentional design. He also knows what hinders us, and our nation, from prospering with life and wholeness. Righteousness exalts a nation; wickedness destroys it. Knowing that someone has our best interest in mind opens our heart to intimate dialogue and acting on His counsel. Proverbs 14:34
  1. Speak a blessing over Israel as you talk with Abba Father. Our Father is a Father to Israel and He says that He will bless those who bless Israel through whom He brought forth our Savior (Jesus). One of the greatest things we can do as a national family is to support the Father’s continued plans and purposes for the land of Israel and God’s covenant with that nation. It will pour out a blessing back on us as we do. Genesis 12:3
  1. Pray for our judges to judge with truth, justice, and what is right. Making the right decision isn’t always easy, but is necessary for corporate wholeness. Pray that God give them courage to defend truth that prospers the life and wellbeing of a nation. Psalm 89:14
  1. Pray for our conscience as a national family to be restored to love and the esteem of truth. God is love and God is truth. There is nothing more beautiful than a mind empowered with truth and inspired by love that moves with wisdom and leads with a sound mind. On the other hand, there is nothing more destructive than a mind driven by self that leads with lies and drives with confusion.  Hebrews 10:22

 Abba’s daughter

Shining the Light that heals nations

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Living as Abba’s Child Through Creativity

creative boy and girlAs God’s children, we are fashioned in His image—the image of the Creator. Laced into the incredible blueprint of our humanity are elements of the divine, one being creativity. We cannot create something from nothing like God, but the resources for creating something new from what already exists is limitless!

blogs.scientificamerican.com

blogs.scientificamerican.com

God, in His very essence, is a designer, inventor, builder, gardener, pottery maker, and so much more. He is the head of a family of creative children. Creativity itself has so many expressions, from inventions that provide ease with work, to artistic expression that provides beauty for the soul or even the release of grief, or humor that brings a smile to our face such as this dressed up doggy. Creativity includes the ability to build a project, a home, a city, design a weapon for protection, write a song, or even administrate an office where an administrator wisely puts things in functional design for optimal efficiency. These are all aspects of creativity that cause our lives and the world around us to flourish and prosper.

In creativity, right AND left-brain work together! Neuroscience has discovered that it is not just the right brain that creates, but both sides of the brain work together in creativity. Here is what one article says, “Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain. Instead, the entire creative process – from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification – consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task. Importantly, many of these brain regions work as a team to get the job done, and many recruit structures from both the left and right side of the brain…Depending on the task, different brain networks will be recruited.” (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2013/08/19/the-real-neuroscience-of-creativity/)

As your Heavenly Father’s son or daughter, what does He want to create through you today that will cause you or your sphere of influence to prosper in a fresh way?

Here are 6 ways to help jump-start your creative flow:

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh ideas and awaken creativity within you.
  1. Take inventory of your gifts. What needs to “go to the next level” in development or expression? Write down some ways of what that can look like.
  1. What positive thought or desire occasionally crosses your mind that you haven’t yet engaged? Grab that thought and do it! Just start. Don’t worry about imperfection—learn and enjoy! You never know what might happen!
  1. My favorite way is to put on some “soaking” music and get into the presence of God. His presence is full of creative ideas and revelatory thoughts. Some of my favorite soaking music is Kimberly and Alberto Rivera.
  1. Go to a bookstore or library, or look online for what might inspire some creative idea. Pinterest is a great place to see what others are doing.
  1. Get with a friend and brainstorm—the synergy of two and talking about a topic can cause all kinds of ideas to surface.

 

Remember, creativity isn’t only about the fun of personal expression—it is a way of breathing life into something that encourages and empowers you and the world around you in myriad ways for prospering.

How about you? What are some ways that get your creative juices flowing?

What is your favorite music that relaxes you and moves you into intimately connecting with God, the most Creative One ever?

I am Abba’s daughter!

 

 

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The Gift of Choice

I woke up this morning with a powerful thought: today is a gift – a canvas of time on which I can paint whatever I want. Today is a gift and choices are the colors I use to create the color of my life.

I can paint my time with positive thoughts or with the dull gray of a gloomy mood. The choice is mine. I can splash it with the color of cultivating friendships or with the dark hues of isolation, of thinking altruistically or being introspective and myopic, or somewhere in-between. I get to choose. I can draw on this canvas a day of productive work or wastefulness, of creativeness or carelessness, of helping others or being envious and greedy… the possibilities are limitless.

Everyday is a gift from God, a canvas of time. What do you want to paint today?

pic by ehow.com

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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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