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I watched a new classic, a “must see” dramatic movie last night in the comfort of my own home. The movie was Gladiator. Although it is based on historic events, it is not a non-fiction movie or even based on a true story. And yet, the fictitious character, Maximus, an ordinary, normal person, not one born of noble birth, was moved and infused with power to act on behalf of loyalty to the king and country, truth, honor, and of good conscience. If you have seen the movie you know how dramatic and life-like the swords are used in battle as well as in the entertainment arena of the coliseum. The swords within the hands of the warriors and conquerors sliced through victims as if the people were made from paper. The swords penetrated with the initial cut with no mercy. I have no idea how a movie like that could be made without really hurting anyone! Unbelievable. The sword in the hands of someone with a mission, someone with honor, someone with authority, someone with righteousness on his side knew only victory. If we only had a glimpse of the power of the Word of God unleashed before us! We, my friends, would be unstoppable!

The Word of God is not just a historical account. The Word of God is not just a textbook like in a school classroom where one opens the textbook to read of historic events and literary analysis of people and places who are now dead. Yes, those accounts matter and have effected us today and will continue to have an effect for future generations. The Word of God, the Bible, is not just a historical account; it is not just history. The author is not dead! Yes, the one who moved the pen may be dead, but the One who’s heart moved the pen is not dead. He is alive! His words are alive. His Word, His truth, is meant to change us. We are not to read His Word just intellectually. It isn’t just a lesson meant for moral reasons. The Word of God should resonate with His Spirit living inside of us moving us to repentance. Having been in the Word and receiving His Spirit, we exemplify our repentance with courage through the gifts of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22).

When you go to church, when I go to church, when you open your Bible in the quietness of your home, when I open my Bible in the quietness of my home, know and hear and feel and see the power of God through His fresh words revealed to you! Don’t just stop there – be moved. Moved to give the hungry something to eat, moved to give the thirsty something to drink, moved to invite in a stranger, moved to clothe the naked, moved to look after the sick, moved to visit prisoners (taken from Matthew 25:33-36).

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12(ESV).

One of my sweet friends spent the past two years in an overseas country serving God by serving others. After graduating from college, she accepted the call to serve. Not only did she leave the country, she left family, friends, new start on career, and all the comforts of home.  Some wanted to know if it was worth it. What she posted was absolutely brilliant. Her reply was nothing less than from the spirit of our living God. I asked her permission to share it with you on my blog. I pray it gives you the courage to do something you thought you could never do, or speak something you thought you could never say, or feel something you thought you could never feel, or believe something you never thought you could believe. This is her reply:   Was it Worth it

Every once in a while my spiritual eyes will reveal something to me I wasn’t necessarily looking for. Other times, I am deliberate about asking God to show me something in particular with my spiritual eyes concerning a person or circumstance so that I can get a glimpse of what is going on in the heavenly realm and not just the natural or what is obvious to the natural man’s eyes. Seeing with my spiritual eyes is tapping into the supernatural…it is seeing with God’s spirit within me.

So…as I was subbing in a 5th grade class the last week of school, the teacher left a movie for us to watch. It was one I hadn’t seen before or even heard of. The movie was Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. (You can watch a trailer for it by clicking on the the hyperlink if you haven’t seen it.) Basically the movie is about a magical toy store where the toys/books come to life. Natalie Portman is the main character who inherits the store and through the character played by Jason Bateman saves the store from financial ruin. I’m not into magic, so I didn’t really like the movie although it is clean and entertaining. It is not one I would own. Personally, I believe anything magical is a counterfeit of Satan. You may say that is a little extreme and what’s so wrong with a  little childish make believe. Magical is more than a child’s imagination. To me, it involves mystery and wonder and powers. If something is magical and cannot be explained especially to a child to understand, I am not for that. I would rather spend my time pointing a child to the mystery, wonder, and powers of God Almighty as opposed to some unseen force! Never would I ever associate magical with God or even faith in God. God is supernatural as well as our faith in Him; it is of His Holy Spirit who is a person of the trinity.

Anyway…as I was watching the movie, my spiritual eyes saw something. I will try to explain. In a scene, a customer in the toy store is looking for a fire truck for her grandson, and she asks the store manager (Natalie Portman) where she can find the fire truck. The store manager then gets out an enormous book and begins to think out loud whether she wants to look in the big book under “E” for engine or “F” for fire truck. She runs her fingers along the side of the book and asks the book for a fire truck. When she opens the book smoke comes out, and on top of the pages out pops the fire truck her grandson wanted. Customer asks, “How did you do that?” Store manager replies, “I didn’t do anything. The book is magic.”  After I watched the scene unfold, my spirit within me was awakened and I saw on screen exactly the way I feel about the Bible. Actually, it isn’t just the way I “feel”…it is what the Bible is…alive, real, and relevant for today. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

I want to be like the store manager in the movie. Through the teaching of God’s Word, I want to reveal the wonders, the mysteries, and the power of God and His holy Word to others. Just like she replied that it wasn’t her…so I too know it isn’t me, but the power of God Himself speaking truth into one’s soul and spirit. I am just the vessel. The stories in the Old Testament are so far from boring and are not so familiar that they lose its power or mystery. Can’t you just see the stories come to life as you turn the pages of the Bible. You could see Noah’s ark surviving the rain and preserving those in it, Moses turning the river into blood, God writing on the tablets of stone, Jericho walls falling, David playing the harp, Naomi meeting Boaz for the first time, Nehemiah with calvary on his way to help the Jews in Jerusalem, Jonah being ejected from a big fish, and the list could go on and on!

God has so graciously given us the Holy Spirit who reveals the mysteries of God. As you and I spend time alone with God reading His Word, may it come alive and minister to you and me! Pray as David did, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”

Do you know when someone or something is “anointed”? What are the qualifications? How does one get an anointing?

One way I know…is when the words pierce my heart in my spirit and in turn encourages me in the Lord. When I look at the lyrics of a particular song in the CD sleeve, the words appear so ordinary, sometimes even plain. But, when I hear the song sung…those ordinary words become supernatural. The lyrics then take on a whole new meaning and level of ministering. When the music and the lyrics and the artist all come together to give God glory…supernatural anointing takes place in the environment of the song played aloud. The same thing with a speaker. I can take notes during a message and the words appear so simplistic, but yet when I hear them spoken aloud by the messenger…the words again take on a whole new meaning and have a power about them. That is the anointing of the Holy Spirit using the words of the singer or speaker to deliver a God-given message to the hearer. SO INCREDIBLY COOL!

That is my goal as a speaker…I want the anointing. I want God to deliver a message through me. I want the audience to hear God, not me. The amazing thing about it is when I use the gifts God has given me as a believer to bless someone else, I am ministered to as well. God doesn’t just have something to say to those listening but also to the ones delivering the message whether it is in song or speech.

What song has a special anointing to you? What speaker has a special anointing in your opinion?

girl reading book

Locally known, Monica Epperson, has written a children’s book entitled A Heart with Two Homes for children of divorced parents.  I had lunch with Monica yesterday in her gorgeous home and felt God’s peaceful presence among us.  Monica’s heart is first for her King, then for her family, and then for those children who don’t understand themselves in light of divorce.  To learn more about Monica and her book please visit:http://aheartwithtwohomes.com/index.htm.

God has given each of His prince’s and princesses gifts, talents, abilities, skills, knowledge, etc… for us to use for His kingdom.  It is such a blessing to see those who know their gift and use it for God’s glory.  Sometimes it can be scary or intimidating to use your gift because of fear of what others may say or think.  Ask God to reveal to you ways you can  uniquely build His kingdom then boldly do it.  God will give you the courage and encouraging friends who will support you.  Thank you, Monica, for listening to the Holy Spirit and writing what He put on your heart!  May God truly bless the work of your hands.  

the_lord_s_prayer

Last night in C groups we had an interesting subject come up while we were discussing the power of the Holy Spirit within us as believers.  I mentioned that because God resides in us through the Holy Spirit, God’s power enables us to have the authority to say “I command in the name of Jesus”.  This authority, though, is not to be taken casually but in the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Through prayer, God may want us to use the authority given to us to have power over a particular situation especially when our enemy, Satan is involved.  God instructs us in the Lord’s prayer (as shown in picture) that we are to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  What God’s will in heaven which is already accomplished, He also wants accomplished on earth which can happen when we pray!  I understand this is a “heavy” topic, but one that is interesting and one that we can learn more about as we seek God’s truth in the matter.  Another verse to study is Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy…”  What are your thoughts and/or questions regarding this topic?

Jennifer Johnson

jenn pic

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Ministry Verse

"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." -Revelations 1:5b-6

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