Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books to Read in 2016

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I'm a reader. I read constantly.  My friends smirk at each other (with love) that whenever a (God) subject comes up, I will tell them a good book to read. And giving people books is my favorite thing to do.  What greater gift is there than knowledge from God?

I have a Kindle and if I want to read fiction,  I use it.  But for all my Christian books, I always buy paper back.  That way I can write in them and mark passages that I want to remember.  I think it's so much easier to study a paper back than an e-book.  

I have a short list of books that have changed my life.  I have included the Amazon link where you can purchase these books.

1 At the top of this list is, of course, the Bible!  There is no substitute for God's Word.  His Word is LIFE.  And a great tool along this line is the book I mentioned in my last post,

Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland.  

3 When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson  Several years ago, I had reached a point where I began to ask God if I was crazy.  I say this very seriously.  No one seemed to know the God I knew and I began to wonder if I really had it wrong.  And then the Lord made me aware of Bill Johnson and his church in Redding, California.  Bill Johnson says that when miracles become logical, we have renewed our mind in the Word.  He is my hero.  I read everything he writes and listen to him

4 Kingdom Principles by Myles Munroe  Jesus did not come to earth to give us a new religion.  He came to bring God's Kingdom to the earth.  

5 The Essential Guide to Healing by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark  I believe that it's always God's will to heal.  God's character is kindness and love and you cannot come into His Presence without becoming more whole.  He never makes people sick.  It is not His nature.  After reading this book, God told me to 'practice' praying for people and laying hands on them for healing.  Since then I have consistently experienced people receiving God's healing when I pray for them.

 Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne  Shane Claiborne is another one of my heroes.  This book will change your perspective on 'churchianity' and changing our world like Jesus did.

7 Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna This book was a HUGE confirmation of many things God was telling me several years ago.  It was another confirmation for me that I was not crazy.  Don't read this book if you don't want to be rocked to the core.  

8 The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson  This book contains powerful truths about taking territory for God's Kingdom through prayer.

9 There Were Two Trees in the Garden by Rick Joyner  In this book, Rick Joyner gives powerful insight to the difference between God's righteousness and man's good.  You will never look at the world the same again.  

10 Fashioned to Reign:Empowering Women to Fulfill Their Divine Destiny by Kris Vallotton  I have not read this book yet (ordered it today) but I've heard Kris' teachings on this and they are wonderful! Two-thirds of the Body of Christ is women and God did not give us gifts that He did not intend us to use.  If you have any reservations about this, these truths will bless you and set you free.

11 The Tongue:A Creative Force by Charles Capps  God created the world with His Words.  We change the world with ours.  

12 The 40-Day Word Fast  by Tim Cameron  I have not read this book yet but was told about it by a blog-friend.  If you read my last post, doing this was a powerful life-changing event.  

I am looking forward to 2016 with a renewed sense of purpose and hope!  The world is in need of a Savior and we are to be His hands and feet.  We are to speak His Words into the earth and bring righteousness and truth.  We cannot do that until He is manifested in us.  Wrong thinking (thinking that is not aligned with the truth of God's Word) will stop this from happening.

We need His Truth.  We need revelation.  We need transformation.

Happy New Year!

love and blessings~

"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Renewing Our Minds

"And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to prove what is the good and acceptable perfect will of God."  Romans 12:2

It is not enough for us to believe in God. We are called to be Christ-like. God wants to manifest Himself here on the earth through us.

We are to be His hands and feet - healing the sick, raising the dead, counseling with His wisdom, filling others with the Holy Spirit - and we can only do that as we are transformed into the image of Jesus.

We want to think like God and speak His Truth.  We want to say nothing that is contrary to the truth of His Word.  We want to always have His Truth to counsel others with.

If we don't have the Word of God to counsel others with, we have  nothing. Our opinions are worthless. And in fact, our opinions can cause harm. If our wisdom does not come from the Lord, it can lead others in the wrong direction.

We can't know God unless we know His Word. God and His Word are one.  We can't identify His Voice if we don't know His Word.  But as we begin to abide in His Word and His Word abides in us, we will hear His thoughts and His Voice. We will begin to have an inward witness and receive direction and an inward counsel.

We can tear down every thought that rises against the knowledge of Christ with the Sword of the Word. In other words, when the thought comes that we aren't going to have enough money to make it to pay day, the Word in us rises up and declares, "My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19)

Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)  We cannot have faith unless our mind is renewed in the Word.  Don't try to fake faith.  You can't.  But as you renew your mind in the Word, faith is birthed in your inner man and out of the fullness of your heart, your mouth will speak. (Luke 6:45)

When I first recommitted my life to Christ and was filled with the Holy Spirit, I found a book that is a great tool for renewing your mind.  I read the whole New Testament within a few weeks but I also started using this book.  "Prayers that Avail Much", by Germaine Copeland. (this is not a sponsored post)

The teaching at the beginning of this book is life-changing and it changed my life.  I re-read this teaching many times until I understood it and then I began to apply it to my life.  This book is simply the Word of God grouped into prayers on different subjects. The Word is turned around into first person so you are speaking the Word over yourself.

I did this every night the last thing before I went to sleep until I had memorized all these verses. Then I could quote them over myself whenever I wanted.  My first four paper back copies of this book fell apart.  lol  I now have the leather bound version.

I give this book to everyone I have a relationship with and advise them to incorporate it into their lives.  A friend of mine and I bought a small case of them a few years ago and handed them all out. It's a great tool in renewing your mind!

In this season the Lord told me to go on a 40-day Word-fast.  I knew instantly what He meant.  I stuck my television in the closet and turned my radio to a Christian station.  I put nothing into my heart except the Word of God and teachings and books on the Word for 40 days.  It transformed me. I went from zero to sixty in 40 days.

A true fast is 'water only' but I believe that if you are water fasting, this is a very powerful thing to do during a fast too.  If we are fasting, we should be dedicating as much time as possible to prayer and interaction with God. TV and books should be put aside during the fast.

I am always very careful to not watch anything on TV or see movies that are violent or sexual.  I want to confess that I have not been perfect in this and am making a fresh commitment to be more careful about this.

I never have anything to do with supernatural movies or shows - even turning the TV to another channel when an advertisement comes on.  These movies and shows impart demonic spirits of violence, lust, impure thoughts and even nightmares.  The more sensitive you become because of the renewing of your mind, the more you will become alarmed at these things and need to remove them from your life.

We cannot live like the world and expect God to be manifest in our lives. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in an impure vessel and the more impurity we have in our lives, the less Holy Spirit we will have. So many of our illnesses and problems will disappear as we are transformed into the image of Jesus. Integrity becomes a shield over us.

The new year is a great time to renew our commitment to spending time in the Word and with Our God.  He is faithful and true and His mercies are new every day.  He does not hold our weaknesses against us but instead rejoices when we get it right.  He is a loving, encouraging Father that rejoices over His children with joyful singing.

May He manifest Himself in us in this new year!

love and blessings~

Monday, December 28, 2015

My New Year's Resolution

Do you make 'New Year's Resolutions?'  My birthday is in October so I typically take stock then, make some changes, and then see how I'm doing at the start of the year.

But this December, God's been talking to me about making some changes.

I have something on my heart that I've wanted to do for years...for decades...and have never done it. With God's help this year, I'm going to try to write a book.  

I've had it on my heart for years.  It will take some research and many hours of work but God gave me a plan that I think will help me accomplish 'our' goal.  I'm sharing this in hopes that it may help you, too.

God told me to make a schedule.  

This seems like such a simple idea.  I haven't had a schedule for years since I quit home-schooling our children.  They have all graduated from high school and our two oldest have graduated from college.  After I quit home-schooling, I wandered around for a few years, going "What do I do now? What do I do now?"  lol

I am not a naturally disciplined person.  When I was home-schooling, the hardest thing for me the first couple of years, was sticking to a schedule. When I quit home-schooling, it never occurred to me to have a schedule.  In fact, it was a glorious relief to NOT have a schedule! 

But God spoke to me the other day and told me to make this change. My family had already suggested that I set aside times that I would dedicate to writing, but when God down-loaded this to me, He empowered and convicted me. So I have been working on it.  

I'm starting slowly. I have designated times that I will write. I have penciled in times that I will do other things that need to be done weekly - like clean, grocery shop, laundry and errands, Gates of Crystal. I am so bad at this! But I am going to continue to work at this until it's a part of my life.

One of the things that has messed me up a little this year is our son came back home to live with us. I had a desk set up in our guest room that helped keep me organized and all my books were in there. He's been home for six months and I had to reorganize. He may be moving back to Boston soon and that will change.  (I will be very sorry to have him go!)  But I will once again have an organized spot and a sunny place to write.

My husband and I have each made a list of things we'd like to accomplish this year. We are praying together over our lists and are going to keep each other accountable. I like to think of myself as creative and having to 'do my thing' when the inspiration hits.  :)  But recently I heard Kris Vallotton say that when writing a book you start out with inspiration but the last few months are just hard work. I needed to hear that.

I have been meeting with some friends of mine to pray on Monday mornings and for Bible study and prayer on Thursday evenings.  We have been wonderfully connecting with God and are freshly flowing in Words of Knowledge and the prophetic. This time has become so precious to us!  And God seems to be connecting each one of us with people we've lost touch with and the first thing they ask is what we're doing. I had a dream the other night that the room was full of people, including men. I've been very encouraged about what the Lord is doing.  

I want to encourage you to pray.  To start with even one person and meet weekly and pray! I believe that this is the step that began to change things.  

So now, I'm even accountable to you.  Maybe we can be accountable to each other.  

If you'd like to comment and share something that God has put on your heart to do this year, please do! Or you can email me at or add me as a friend on Facebook.  I also have a Summits of Rubies Facebook page if you'd like to join.  

I have a fresh hope that this will be a year of gain and accomplishing goals!  

love and blessings for a prosperous new year!
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."  Ephesians 5:15,16,17

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Don't Believe in Santa

When I was first filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit ~before I started attending church and hearing what others think ~ when it was just me and God spending all our time together; the Lord told me some things that I have never forgotten.

Some people find God through church. Some people find church and never find God.  I found God at home, alone. Or more accurately, He found me.

Those first months are still precious to me.  It was more than 30 years ago and it was a very painful time in my life but in that season, God transformed me, changing me from the inside out and connecting me to Him. And I've never been the same.

And He convicted me of some things in those days that I've never let go of. No matter what anybody else said. No matter what I saw other Christians doing. No matter how I was questioned.

One of them was "no Santa Claus."  It's actually very simple to me. I'm in love with Jesus. His life, death and resurrection is the center of my life and being. Because of Him, I am forever connected to God, forever healed and changed, forever grateful.

Every day is a day to celebrate my life in Him, but if Christmas is the day to celebrate His birth, then I'm IN. All the way!

The first Christmas after rededicating my life to Him and being filled with the Spirit, I threw out every Santa thing that we owned. When my family challenged me by buying Santas after I had clearly expressed the way I felt, I threw them away in front of them.

My husband and I never told our children that there was a Santa. They, of course, saw him everywhere and we explained that he was like a cartoon. He wasn't real. We also explained that their cousins thought he was real and to be kind we were never going to tell them differently. That was up to their parents.

God had shown me how confusing it can be for a child to hear that God is real - but you can't see Him. Then they are told that Santa is real. Then they are told that Santa is NOT real. But God's still real.

My extended family thought we were ruining Christmas for our children. But my children had such joy in celebrating Jesus' birth and they weren't at all disappointed when they knew their gifts were from their family. They looked at other children with a little bit of confusion regarding the whole Santa thing.

One year, around Christmas, the library where we lived had a special day for our home-schooling group. The lady who was leading it asked the children, "What's the first thing you think of when you think of Christmas?"  She was shocked when the children all yelled, "JESUS!"  It was not was she was expecting and she had to regroup.  lol  I was filled with joy.

I'm always a little confused when I hear people yelling, "Jesus is the reason for the season" while they do the whole Santa Claus thing, because obviously they have not made Him the reason for the season.

We could change the world if we lived up to our convictions. We could have made the season about Jesus. It was the one holiday (and Easter - no Easter bunny) we could have grabbed hold of declaring our faith in Christ. We could have put our money where our mouth is and simply stayed away from Santa until he died out.

Instead, he's become the reason for the season.

I personally don't believe there are special days. I believe that the Holy Days created by God have been fulfilled in Christ. I believe that Christ is the Sabbath Day rest. Jesus is a 24/7 rest for those who have found their lives in Christ. So we celebrate Him every day.

But Christmas is a time that we can really declare our faith in Jesus to others. That we can lovingly stand our ground and declare, "Merry Christmas! Christ is born!"

So, Merry Christmas!  Christ is born! May you find your rest in Him. May your commitment to Him grow this year as we see a world in need of a Saviour. May you see the world through His eyes and let His words fill your mouth, sharing His love with others. May we be transformed into the image of His dear Son, Jesus, Immanuel, God is with us!

Happy birthday, Jesus!  You are my all-in-all.

love and blessings~

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Grant us Repentance, Lord!

I had been spending the afternoon with the Lord a few weeks ago, reading, praying, worshiping and listening. The Lord had been telling me lately, "Just be yourself" although 'just being myself (in Christ) has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years!  lol

Later that evening, I decided to watch the movie, "Tomorrowland,"  It's the story about a young girl who picks up a button and is immediately transported to a future world where everything is bright and modern.  As the story continues, she meets George Clooney, who tells her that something has happened and Tomorrowland is never going to come!  She immediately begins to declare and come against that and when she does, George gets a glimpse of Tomorrowland.

Her words bring him new hope and he begins to fight again for Tomorrowland.

As I'm watching this movie, God is speaking to me that I (we) are the girl and as we speak the Truth of God and come against the enemy's plans to stop what God is bringing, we bring the Kingdom into the earth. The presence of God was all over me as I watched this movie and then I hear God say again to me, "Just be yourself."

Then George says to the girl, "Just be yourself!"  I about fell off the couch!

I was reading in Luke 11:37-54 this morning and a Pharisee asks Jesus to have lunch with him.  Jesus sits down at the table without ceremonially washing His hands (Fence Laws) and this offends the Pharisee right off the bat.  Then Jesus begins to attack the Pharisees for their impure hearts.  A lawyer who is present says, "Teacher, when you say this, you insult us too," and Jesus begins to attack the lawyer.

I laughed out loud!  How many of us have imagined how amazing it would be to sit down with Jesus! But I wonder...would we be Mary, who sat at His feet and Jesus defends us saying we have chosen the righteous thing?  Or would we find out we were a Pharisee who had presented the world a Christian facade but in reality, we were dead inside?

And I'm also amazed that Jesus didn't worry about offending these men!  Jesus never sinned. His intent was not to offend but to share the Truth of God.  These men chose to become offended instead of repenting of their sin. How many times have I wondered if I did something wrong when I have shared the Truth of God with other Christians and they have become offended?  God help me.

The Word says in John 8: 32 that you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free and I always want to add 'but first it might make you really mad!' Ha!  Jesus said, "Blessed is he who is not offended by Me." (Matthew 11:6)

Are you hearing God today?  Have you chosen to hear with an open heart and are you willing to ask God, "Judge me and correct me"?  If someone corrected you today would you receive it with humility, seeking God, and repent of sin?  Or would you become offended?  Have you remained teachable?

Pride is the throne where all our sin resides.  Pride will cause us to defend our sin instead of repenting.  We need to ask God to grant us humility and repentance, for all of us have fallen short of the Glory of God.

Love and blessings~

Friday, October 30, 2015

Perfect in Mercy

Several years ago, I asked the Lord, "Why do You say in Isaiah 55 that Your thoughts and ways are than ours and yet You tell us in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the "mind of Christ?"

And the Lord told me to read Isaiah.

As I read, I began to notice a pattern.  God would bless the people.  Then they would rebel.  God would forgive them and restore them.  It repeated over and over again but God kept appealing to the people to repent of their ways and come to Him.  Every time He encounters their sin, He meets it with loving correction and mercy.

And then God says in Isaiah 55:7 - "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  And let him return to the Lord and He will have compassion on him and to our God.  For He will abundantly pardon, for My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"

God is telling us that in the face of our sin and rebellion, His mercies are new every day.(Lamentations 3:22)  He does not meet our evil with evil but with compassion, forgiveness and covenant love.  This is the character of our God.  His ways of mercy and forgiveness are higher than our ways.

When my daughter was three months old I came home from work to find that she had two black eyes. Her babysitter explained to me that she had been lying on her tummy and dropped her face onto her busy box.  I had no reason to disbelieve her but a year later she called me crying and confessed that Laura would not stop crying that day and she had hit her.

I was no longer working then and for the next 10 days, I grieved.  I couldn't eat or sleep.  I tortured myself with thoughts of failing my sweet baby and leaving her with someone who had mistreated her. I imagined other abuses and neglects.  I held her and cried and cried and cried and prayed that God would heal her heart of any hurts.

After 10 days of this I knelt before God and begged Him to remind me of something horrible that I had done so that I could forgive this person.

And in a heart beat, I was in outer space.  I could see 'infinity' stretched out before me.  I could see an uncountable amount of stars stretched out in the darkness and could feel the hugeness of the universe and My God spoke to me.  He said, "I can't remind you because I don't remember."  And He brought His Words to me from Psalm 103:12.  "As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your transgressions from you!"

God could not remind me of my sin because He had chosen to forget!  It was under the blood of Jesus and I was righteous in His eyes because of this sacrifice!  And faced with this overwhelming mercy, I cried and was able to forgive this babysitter.

That night I went to church and as I stood and worshiped God for His infinite love, He poured out an anointing of joy and healed my heart.

John Sheasby ( says that when Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48, "Be perfect, therefore, as Your Heavenly Father is perfect," this translates to "be perfect IN MERCY" as Our Father is. We are to be perfect in mercy, forgiving others and showing them the infinite love of the Father.  This is what it means to be Christ-like.

The wonderful truth is that there is nothing we can do that God won't forgive.  His mercy and love for us is infinite.  The only thing that can separate us from Him is not receiving His forgiveness and love. Paul (changed from Saul) was responsible for the deaths and persecutions of many believers and yet God forgave him and he went on to write most of the New Testament.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget non of His benefits.
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion."
Psalm 103

love and blessings~

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Paul's Thorn in the Flesh by Andrew Wommack

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
This thorn in the flesh that Paul mentioned has been used and misused by Christians to justify submitting to nearly any problem that comes along. Satan has twisted this passage of Scripture to deceive many, many people into believing that God would not heal Paul, so how can they expect to be healed? Let us examine this closely and find out exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was.
First of all, this “thorn” came because of the abundance of revelations Paul had received. Until a person has an abundance of revelations, similar to what Paul had, he is not going to have a “thorn.” That would disqualify just about all of those who have been hiding behind Paul’s thorn.
Then, verse 7 says it came lest Paul should be exalted above measure. Traditionally, that has been interpreted to say the thorn was to keep Paul humble. Therefore, God had to be the author of it, because only God would want Paul to be humble. But there is a godly way of being exalted. First Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Those who submit (humble) themselves to God will be exalted by God. Paul was not speaking of exalting himself above measure through pride, but rather, the thorn came from Satan to keep Paul from being exalted by God in the eyes of the people. Many more people would have received what Paul preached if everything was always “rosy” for him. But there was this messenger of Satan who always buffeted Paul and scared away the faint-hearted from committing themselves to Jesus, whom Paul preached.
God magnified, or exalted, Joshua in the sight of his people (Josh. 3:7). He continued to do that with the people He used on into the new covenant (Acts 5:13). So, we see that the exalting spoken of is not a negative kind but a godly kind. That just further strengthens the fact that the thorn was not God’s doing.
In verse 7, right after the thorn in the flesh is mentioned, there is a phrase set off by commas which says, “The messenger of Satan to buffet me.” This is an explanation of what the thorn was. It was not a thing but rather a demonic messenger. The word used as “messenger” here is always translated as angel or messenger and refers to a created being. So, Paul’s thorn was literally a demon sent from Satan to buffet him. The word “buffet” means to strike repeatedly as waves would buffet the shore.
How did this demonic force continually strike Paul? Traditionally it has been taught that it was with sickness, and the thing that made many accept that is the use of the words “weakness” and “infirmity” in verses 9 and 10. Infirmity definitely does mean sickness and is used that way in 1 Timothy 5:23, but that is not the only meaning of the word. The number two definition is any lack or inadequacy. For instance, Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.” In this case, the context makes it clear that it is not speaking of sicknesses but rather not knowing what to pray for. Our finite minds are an infirmity, or an inadequacy.
If we look at the context of Paul’s thorn in the flesh, we find that infirmity does not mean sickness in 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10. In 2 Corinthians 11:30, Paul uses the exact terminology of “glorying in infirmities” that is used just a few verses later in speaking about this thorn. In the eleventh chapter he had just finished listing what those infirmities were. In verses 23-29, he lists such things as imprisonment, stripes, shipwrecks, and stonings; none of these speak of sickness. Verse 27 mentions weakness and painfulness, which some have tried to make mean sickness, but it is just as possible he could have been weary and suffered painfulness from such things as being stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). All these things listed in 2 Corinthians 11 refer to persecutions as infirmities. So, in context, Paul’s thorn was a demonic angel or messenger sent by Satan which continually stirred up persecution against him. This is also verified by three Old Testament references (Num. 33:55; Josh. 23:13 and Judg. 2:3), where people are spoken of as being “thorns in your sides” and “thorns in your eyes.”
Paul asked the Lord to remove persecution from him, not sickness, and the Lord told him His grace was sufficient. We are not redeemed from persecution, and Paul later stated that when he said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Most gladly, therefore, he gloried in persecutions, reproaches, necessities, and distresses that the power of Christ might rest upon him (2 Cor. 12:9). The word “glory” is an old English word which means to have dominion over or command. It is used in Exodus 8:9 where Moses told Pharaoh to glory over him, or command him, when to destroy the frogs. So when Paul spoke of glorying in these infirmities or persecutions, he was speaking of victory even in the midst of continual harassment.
In Acts 14:19, Paul was stoned and left for dead, but God raised him up, and the next day he walked at least twenty miles into the next town and started preaching again. The Lord did not stop the persecution, but God’s strength was certainly made perfect in Paul’s weakness (verse 9). Can you imagine what those that stoned him must have thought? They could see Paul’s humanity in the cuts and bruises, but they could also see the supernatural strength of God flowing through him. “For when I am weak, then am I strong” (verse 10).
There are two other passages of Scripture that those who believe Paul’s thorn in the flesh was sickness have tried to use to verify that. One is Galatians 4:13-15. Here Paul says that he preached the Gospel to these Galatians through an infirmity of the flesh, and in verse 15, he makes reference to these people being willing to poke out their own eyes and give them to him. From this, I have heard ministers preach that Paul’s thorn was a rare, ancient disease which was characterized by runny, puffy eyes. But let us look at whom Paul was speaking to when he said this. He was writing to the people who lived in the region known as Galatia, which had as its major cities, Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium. The instance we mentioned earlier, where Paul was stoned and left for dead, happened in Lystra, a city of Galatia. The next day Paul walked to Derbe, another city of Galatia, and began preaching unto them. I’m sure he had runny, puffy eyes, along with multiple cuts and bruises, but they were not the result of some disease. They were the result of having just been stoned. He also says in verse 13 that his infirmity was “at the first,” which leaves the impression it was only a temporary thing that he recovered from.
The next scripture used to say Paul’s thorn was bad eyes is also in Galatians, chapter 6, verse 11. It says, “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.” People have said Paul’s eyes were so bad that he had to write in large letters, and this is what he was making reference to. That is only a supposition and not a very good one at that. It is a lot more credible to believe that he was simply referring to the long letter he had written to the Galatians.
The reason it is so important to realize that the thorn in the flesh was not something which Jesus died to redeem us from, such as sickness, is so that we won’t submit ourselves to these things. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We have to resist, or actively fight against, the devil and the things he brings, to see them flee. Satan has used traditional teaching about Paul’s thorn to bring many Christians to a place of submitting to him. But, praise God, you shall know the truth and the truth, shall set you free.
Original article found here - Andrew Wommack ministries
love and blessings~

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

He Saves, He Heals

Some people believe that it's not always God's will to heal.  The thought I've heard is that God is teaching us something through sickness and disease.  The same people will also say, "God is good all the time" but I think they would agree that any father who would make his children sick is not good or loving or kind.

There are some who would argue - then why do people die of sickness? 

A wonderful book that answers this question so beautifully is "Intercessory Prayer," by Dutch Sheets.  

I believe that we, as Believers in Christ, are to decide what we believe based on the Word of God.  

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 2

"Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness." Matthew 9:35

"(Jesus said)...He who has seen me has seen the Father"  John 14:9

"So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise." John 5:19

There is not a single example in scripture of Jesus NOT healing everyone.  There is no place that He says, "No."  None.  

Malachi 3:6 "I the LORD do not change."

John 10:30 "I and the Father are One."

Matthew 13:58 says, "He (Jesus) did not perform many miracles there because of their unbelief."  The Word makes it clear that our faith is tied to God's moving in our behalf.

And He (Jesus) said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction." Mark 5:34

And He (Jesus) said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:19

Instead of adjusting our doctrine, shouldn't we examine ourselves, submitting ourselves to God's judgment and correction, and ask Him why we're sick? Shouldn't we seek to do what the Word says and "not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds to prove what is the good and acceptable will of God?" Romans 12:2

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17  If we lack faith we need to spend time in the Word letting God correct our thinking and lack of belief.  

Bill Johnson, the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, says that when our minds are renewed in the Word, miracles become logical.  

I am not without compassion for those that are suffering with illness.  Neither is God! God is love and love is compassion! "Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36

Jesus was so filled with compassion that He suffered the cross, was separated from God for three days and rose again to restore us to right relationship with the Father.  He gave all that He is that we might be healed. Did you know that the name "Jesus" actually means, "He saves/heals."? Healing is a part of salvation!  

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed." Isaiah 53:5  Jesus bore 39 lashes. I have read that science has grouped all sickness into 39 categories.

My heart is to give you HOPE - hope that it is God's will to heal you. God IS healing and wholeness! Even though healing is part of salvation, Jesus did all these things BEFORE His sacrifice on the cross!  He did not demand that people repent of their sin before He healed them. He healed every single person that came to Him.  

God is not holding our sin against us. He gave all He had to give to restore us to wholeness - salvation, healing, deliverance.  Please receive His grace and seek Him to receive your healing.

love and blessings~

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Living in the Outer Courts

Did you know that God has 'courts?'  The Bible tells us that the temple that Solomon built is a 'type and shadow' of the temple in Heaven. (1 Chronicles 28, Hebrews 8)  The temple had outer courts, inner courts and The Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest could enter The Holy of Holies once a year to offer sacrifices for the peoples' sin.  But Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice and God tore the curtain that separated us from Him and The Holy of Holies.

If you're not familiar with these facts, please let me know, and I will give a more in depth explanation.

Even though many Believers have heard this truth, they've not understood or taken advantage of the blessing and LIFE that has been given us through Jesus' sacrifice.  That is - they've never entered The Holy of Holies. They've stayed in the outer courts their whole lives, never enjoying an intimate relationship with God.

The word 'know' in the Bible - as in 'knowing God' - is the same word as when a husband 'knows' his wife.  It is intercourse.  God desires to have intercourse with us.  Spirit touching spirit.  Spirit infusing spirit. It is this relationship of spiritual intercourse that makes us whole.

God and His Word are one - Jesus tells us that in John 15 when He said, "I and the Father are one." Before Jesus became flesh, He was The Word that was at the creation of the world.  Spirit God creates with His Word.

But the Bible cannot contain an infinite God.  God is a Spirit.  He is a living 'being.'  There are no words that are adequate to describe this infinite God.  What I'm trying to say is that reading the Bible is not 'knowing' God.  Reading the Bible is extremely important as it builds a boundary of Who God is.  It renews our mind in Truth.  It causes us to think correctly.

But only reading the Bible will keep us in the outer courts.  We need to do more to touch the Spirit of God.

God's Word tells us 'to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise."  Psalm 100  To come into His Holy Presence we must come to Him with thanksgiving and praise.

Thanksgiving is 'giving Him thanks' for what He has done and given us.  'Praise' is declaring the wonder of Who He is.  As we focus on Him, giving Him thanksgiving and praise, His Presence comes on us in a tangible way and we enter a state of  'worship.'   Just as we 'know' our spouse, there is a time of focusing on them and then a time of intimacy.  This place of 'worship' is an intimacy with God.  It is entering The Holy of Holies.

It may take us a while to learn 'to enter in.'  The enemy has a powerful weapon.  It's called 'distraction.'  It comes in the form of television, movies, internet, iphones and any other thing he can use to cause our mind to spin and not be quieted.  He can even use things that seem Godly to keep us from being intimate with God.  We can become so busy baking cookies for the church social that we've neglected our relationship with God.  I am guilty of this too.

This place of intimacy leaves no place to hide our sin or room for dishonesty with ourselves.  It lays bare every thought we have before a Holy God, every failure, every pain.  But the amazing thing is that in this place we will never find condemnation.  Instead we find a God whose mercies are new every day. Who knows our every weakness.  Who restores our soul.

In this place we are humbled, we are healed. In this place, we gaze upon God and are changed into His Image.  In this place we no longer have to try to change our actions because God changes our heart.

In this place of intimacy we find out who we are.  We find out who we were made to be.  And we see ourselves in His eyes and find out that He thinks we're beautiful.

If you're hurting or failing or feeling empty, only God can heal you.  You can't heal yourself.  You can't lose enough weight or buy a new wardrobe or do anything else that will make you feel like a loved person.  Only God can heal your identity, show you your purpose but even more than that help you understand that you are so loved, so desired, so beautiful to a perfect, beautiful Holy God. Only God can help us know that we never have to DO anything to be loved by Him.  He sees us as we are and loves us - anyway.

And then He fixes us

Be blessed.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Good Health

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 
3 John 1:2 

I have only been to the doctor once in the last ten years.  I made some radical changes in both my beliefs and in my practices in the last decade that has caused me to walk in better health, which is God's will for us.

Most believers in Christ have heard of the "Daniel Fast."  Do you realize that nowhere in this story is the word "fast?"  Daniel had heard something from God which caused him to have a deep conviction to not eat the way the King wanted him to eat.  Daniel ate this way all the time and was confidant that the King would see that his eating habits were good.

Daniel 1:8 says, "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank..."

We are spirit, soul and body.  What we eat affects us spiritually and physically.  What we believe affects us spiritually and physically.  There is no division between our soul and body.

Whenever I have an "ailment", I search my soul.  The first thing I do when I'm not feeling well is seek God to see if sin in my life has opened the door for sickness or body "malfunctions."  My sin could be anything from worry to judgment to eating wrong to not following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Most the time as I receive correction and direction from the Holy  Spirit, I will receive healing.

Seasons of grief or hopelessness can cause deeper illness.  As we daily spend time in the Presence of God, we receive the soul healing that will bring physical healing.

In the last few months my left shoulder was really causing me discomfort.  I couldn't raise my arm straight up.  My chiropractor, who's also a dear friend and is Spirit filled, helped me understand that our heart is connected to our left arm and my grief over my dad's death was causing this malfunction. As my heart healed, so did my shoulder.  (I know someone that recently underwent a painful shoulder surgery and is going through physical therapy.  Prayer is much easier. And the root of their pain is still unhealed.)

Anything that takes the place and the authority of God is "anti-Christ."  The term anti-Christ often means "instead of Christ."  When a doctor gives a diagnosis that is contrary to the LIFE of Christ, it is anti-Christ.

Did you know that the root word of the word "sorcery" in Galatians 5:20 is "pharma" as in pharmaceuticals?  Pharmaceuticals confuse your body's God-given communication that He has created for you to know that something is wrong and seek Him for healing.  Pharmaceuticals mask your body's symptoms, never bring healing, and actually thwart healing because many people will ignore their body's signals.

For example: we've eaten something that is poison to our system and is causing us to be nauseated and sick.  We drink Pepto-Bismal which gets rid of the symptoms and still leaves us sick.  The unhealed sickness may go on to cause further problems.

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain "life."  They are alive and God has created them to feed us.  When we fill our bodies with nothing but 'dead food' and I use the term 'food' lightly, our bodies cannot get the nutrients it needs to be healthy.  Then we pray for healing and don't understand why God isn't answering our prayer.

White processed sugar is one of the biggest causes of cancer.  I recently suggested to someone who has cancer that they give up sugar but they decided to keep eating sugar and go through chemotherapy.

There is so much information out there now exposing the fast food industries and companies like Monsanto.  Please do not ignore what God is trying to tell us.

Here is what I do when I'm not feeling well. ** As a precaution, I am not recommending any of these things.  Please make your own decisions about your health care.

  1. Seek God.  I first seek God for direction and understanding as to why I'm not feeling well.  I repent of sin.  I spend time worshiping, in the Word and praying.
  2. I visit my chiropractor.  I have a weekly appointment to get adjusted and an hour massage. Having your spine aligned causes your body to be able to communicate and heal itself.
  3. Essential Oils - I have an extensive collection of Essential Oils.  The Real Truth About Essential Oils
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar - I take 1-2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water daily. Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day  I am truly amazed by how much better I feel when I take ACV daily.  If you follow my other blog, you know that recently I had a garage sale and have been painting my kitchen again.  The difference in my muscle pain when I take ACV is amazing!  It takes away all my aches and pains!  Ibuprofen has been proven to cause 'leaky-gut' and all sorts of health problems.
  5. Cinnamon and Honey - did you know that both cinnamon and honey kill 99.9% of all harmful bacteria?  Putting cinnamon and honey in tea and drinking it throughout the day may be all you need for healing.
  6. Colloidal Silver -Colloidal Silver - while I was searching for a good article for Colloidal Silver, I found several that were against it.  This product was recommended to me by other friends who share my views and when other things have failed to make me feel better, this works.  (I'm always amazed that people will quickly take pharmaceuticals without ever worrying about the terrible side effects.)  I only take this when I'm sick.
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide - When I'm getting a sore throat or congestion, I gargle with peroxide.  I also put it in my ears.  If I'm really feeling bad, I eat a tablespoon full, which a doctor I know recommended several years ago.  It is safe.
I'm sure as soon as I quit writing today I'll think of something else.  The biggest thing is to drink lots of filtered water and eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  I also try to 'juice' often. The Benefits of Juicing  I follow several of the holistic websites on Facebook and love reading about all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

The Lord told me several years ago that, "healing is natural."  I have seen God heal people instantly when I've prayed for them.  But I've also seen some people's ailments come back in months to come because the root soul sickness was not healed or they continued their bad practices.  

Only Jesus can heal our soul and body.  All glory and honor be to Him and Him alone!

love and blessings~

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bruce Jenner

"then God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

I have the utmost compassion for anyone who has suffered with "gender confusion."  I can't imagine how painful it must be to not even have that most basic identity of 'man' or 'woman' settled in your being.

And I know that God has great compassion on every person, no matter how far they are from Him.  I don't pretend to understand homosexuality and gender confusion.  I know that we were all born 'wrong.'  We were all born 'dead in trespasses and sin' (Ephesians 2:1) so it's not surprising that sometimes that separation from God results in this kind of confusion.  But any sexual sin should be viewed as something that can be healed and redeemed by the blood of Jesus - when we recognize it as sin and repent.

But having compassion does not mean we should ever give anyone the impression that this sexual sin is alright.  Sin is sin.  And sexual sin damages us more deeply than other sin because sex is spiritual. God loves people and He hates sin because it destroys the people that He loves.

I recently read an article that states that doctors have discovered that a woman has the DNA in her body from every sexual partner she has had!  We know that sex is a covenant act.  And we know that sex causes a bond that is very hard to break.  I think this gives a greater understanding as to why. The 'two' have truly become 'one.'

The blessing of the family and church is so important, but it's sex that marries us.  Two men or two women cannot be spiritually married.  They are both the same side of the whole.  You've got two lefts and no right.

But it's amazing to me how easily our society has gotten behind Bruce/Caitlyn as he has made this change. The media has bullied people into supporting him and praising him for being "so brave."  I saw a preview of an upcoming interview that Bruce has given.  He said, "I am the new normal."

If a cat thinks it's a dog and starts to act like a dog, has surgery to make it look more like a dog, and tells people it's a dog, it will still give birth to kittens. No matter how confused the cat is, it's still a cat.

If a man surgically has his genitals removed, has plastic surgery to make him look more like a woman and has breast implants, he still has the DNA of a man.  He has not become a woman.

And I wonder how many people that are applauding his bravery would want their son to marry him?

I truly appreciate all the Christian people who have stood up to the popular opinion and disagreed. It's not a matter of being kind, although I think we should always be kind.  It's a matter of what the next generation will believe.  If your 'confusion' is accepted and encouraged, if sin is never acknowledged, we'll head further down this slippery slope.  And I can't imagine where we'll end up.

All sin separates us from God.  We should always pray that people would repent of their sin and be restored to right relationship with God.  Any lie that stands in the way of this should be brought down.

I heard that Bruce had a panic attack as he was going into surgery.  I pray that when all media approval dies down and he's left alone, he doesn't regret his decision.  I pray for all his children.  I think that one of the saddest things in this whole event is that they are not able to express their confusion and anger.  The media has tried to make us all ashamed of our disapproval.

So, God bless you, Bruce and family.  I've always had concern about people who want to be in the public eye.  I think they probably have a very deep need for approval.  I pray they find their identity in Christ.

love and blessings~

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:33

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ears to Hear

More than 20 years ago I met a lovely young Christian woman who talked passionately about eating healthy, growing your own vegetables and God's plan for our health.  I remember listening to her and realizing that I wasn't really 'hearing' her.  Somewhere in my heart I knew she was right but I wasn't able to repent of my ways.  And I knew it.

But about 9 years ago, the Lord took me on a journey.  He told me to study 'light' both in the Word and in science.  And through that study, I began to understand what this woman was talking about and make changes in my life.

Jesus talks about having "ears to hear" (Matthew 11:15).  He often encountered people who could not 'hear' what He was saying.  I have learned, the hard way, that people often are not willing to hear what God is saying.  I have learned to listen to the Holy Spirit before ever speaking to someone what's on my heart.  I have learned that speaking before they're ready to hear can often cause their heart to harden.

I have often over the years asked God why He chooses to not reveal His Glory in more obvious ways. And one day He spoke to me and told me.

He told me that when He reveals Himself, people have two choices;  they can say, "Yes" or they can say, "No."  Because He knows their hearts, He chooses wisely to wait until they're ready to say, "Yes."

We need to follow this wisdom.  Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing and He only said what He heard the Father saying.  We need to listen carefully before we speak or act.

Often times I have wanted to share with people but stopping to ask My Father has caused me to remain silent.

But God also tells us that "the prayers of righteous avail much!" (James 5:16)  I like the Amplified version.  The earnest, heartfelt, continued prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working.)

Earnest, heartfelt, continued prayers can open ears!  Continued prayers can soften a heart and make a way for a person to 'hear' the love of the Holy Spirit.  And maybe you'll never get to say what's on your heart, but someday, somewhere, someone will share what was on your heart - what is on the Father's heart - and the person will 'hear.'

love and blessings~

Monday, May 4, 2015

God Will Fight For You

I LOVE a thunderstorm! 

We have lived in several different states and obviously, one of the big differences state to state, is the weather.  Colorado has its blizzards, Alabama has its tornadoes (and a hurricane while we lived there) but no one does a good thunderstorm like Michigan!

Michigan is surrounded by three of the Great Lakes.  The wind and rain form over these huge lakes, just like over the ocean, and it can  really rock and roll.  

Our family has been known to gather downstairs in the middle of the night - with candle light because the power's out - during these storms and look at each other wide-eyed while the world outside crashes and booms and seemingly explodes.

I know some people are really frightened by these storms and I get it.  While living in Virginia several years ago, my daughter, Laura, and I were sitting in our sun room during a stormy Sunday afternoon when lightening hit a tree in our yard. 

We had a row of pines along our property line, which was only about 30' away.  I saw the tree flash and there was deafening BOOM and the whole house shook.  The lightening had traveled down the tree in a spin and thrown strips of bark 20' away from the tree!

But one morning, several years ago, I was up before dawn, worshiping God during a thunderstorm. And the Lord spoke to me.  

The Word tells us in 1 John that Jesus is LIGHT.  In the book of John it also tells us that Jesus, the WORD, became flesh and dwelt among us.  Jesus is "LIGHT" and "SOUND".  

Colossians 1:15-17 says,

"He is the image of the invisible god, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

Before Jesus became a man, He was at creation with God.  He was The Word of God with which God spoke the world into being.

Some people believe that God brings the storms in our lives.  I don't.  Not if we're walking in integrity.  If we've made a mistake, we repent.  If God had brought the storm when Jesus and the disciples were in the boat, Jesus would not have calmed the storm.  He only did what He saw the Father doing.  And He lived as an example to us of what we are able to do in the Spirit - calm the storm.

Job 37:1-5 says,
"At this also my heart trembles,And leaps from its place."Listen closely to the thunder of His voice,And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth."Under the whole heaven He lets it loose,And His lightning to the ends of the earth."After it, a voice roars;He thunders with His majestic voice,And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard."God thunders with His voice wondrously,Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.

Psalms 104:1-9
Bless the Lord, O my soul!Lord my God, You are very great;You are clothed with splendor and majesty,Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;He makes the clouds His chariot;He walks upon the wings of the wind;He makes the winds His messengers,Flaming fire His ministers.He established the earth upon its foundations,So that it will not totter forever and ever.You covered it with the deep as with a garment;The waters were standing above the mountains.At Your rebuke they fled,At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.The mountains rose; the valleys sank downTo the place which You established for them.You set a boundary that they may not pass over,So that they will not return to cover the earth.
The Lord spoke to me that morning and He told me a storm was coming.  I remember thinking it was odd because things were so good at that moment.  But in the next few months I would encounter an attack from the enemy like I had never experienced before.  At times I would wonder if I had done something wrong.  And I would be reminded of what the Lord told me that morning
That He is in the thunder and the lightening and He comes on my behalf!  He sets Himself against the enemy and storms in defense of His children.  The storm that comes against us is not from Him.  He is the storm that defends us and fights for us.  The war in the heavenlies may boom with violence but none of it will come near us.  
Isaiah 54:11-17 says: O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and foundations I will lay in sapphires.  Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones.  All your sons will be taught of the Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great.  In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you.  If anyone fiercely assails you IT WILL NOT BE FROM ME.  Whoever assails you will fall because of you.  Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; and I have created the destroyer to ruin.  No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tonque that accuses you in the judgment you will condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.  And their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord.

Psalm 91 says

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most HighWill abide in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,My God, in whom I trust!"For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapperAnd from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with His pinions,And under His wings you may seek refuge;His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.You will not be afraid of the terror by night,Or of the arrow that flies by day;Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.A thousand may fall at your sideAnd ten thousand at your right hand,But it shall not approach you.You will only look on with your eyesAnd see the recompense of the wicked.For you have made the Lord, my refuge,Even the Most High, your dwelling place.No evil will befall you,Nor will any plague come near your tent . For He will give His angels charge concerning you,To guard you in all your ways.They will bear you up in their hands,That you do not strike your foot against a stone.You will tread upon the lion and cobra,The young lion and the serpent you will trample down."Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name."He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble ;I will rescue him and honor him."With a long life I will satisfy himAnd let him see My salvation."

1 Corinthians 15:46 tells us that the physical comes first then the spiritual.  In Matthew 16, Jesus talks about discerning the signs.  I have learned to watch what's happening in the physical to gain understanding about what's happening in the spiritual.  

If we begin to understand that He is always for us, when we see the storm rage, we will not fear. We will trust that we are hidden in Christ and we will begin to align ourselves with God and bring the storm against the enemy.

"Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!"  
Revelation 19:6

love and blessings~