The Prophetic Significance of Tonight’s Super Blood Wolf Moon

On Sunday night, Jan. 20, 2019, there will be a super blood moon visible throughout the United States.

A blood moon, or lunar eclipse, occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of the Earth. The sunlight is refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere, giving the moon the reddish color which causes it to be called a blood moon.

In the Bible, the moon is the faithful witness in the sky, symbolic of the believers, (Ps. 89:37), while the sun symbolizes Christ the bridegroom and champion (Ps. 19:4-5). The apostle Peter, quoting from the prophet Joel, included blood moons in the signs of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the time of salvation before Christ returns (Acts 2:17-21). The red color of the moon reminds us that we are covered by the blood of the Lamb and have overcome Satan by our witness and the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11).

The blood moon occurs in the constellation Cancer, which is the 11th chapter of the Star Bible, during the 11th month of the Hebrew sacred year, Shebat. In ancient times, the constellation Cancer was known in Arabic as Khan ("Inn") and Cer ("Encompassing") and in Hebrew as "To Hold," both names which signify God’s holding place for His people in heaven. The eclipse will take place 7 degrees away from the Praesepe star cluster, which means "Multitude". The name of the Hebrew 11th month, Shebat, is not of Hebrew origin and is similar to the Chaldee word for "Tribe". Thus, the blood moon in Cancer during Shebat is reminding us that the blood-bought church is the tribe of God, and the multitude of believers will be with Him in heaven.

Echoing the blood moon, the red planet Mars, representing the blood of Jesus, will be in the constellation Pisces, a picture of the church, reminding us that heaven remains open to those saved by the blood of the Lamb.

The bood moon is also a "super moon." This phenomenon occurs when a full moon is at its closest point to the Earth at the same time as the Earth is near its closest point to the sun, Jan. 2. The combined gravitational pull of the Earth and sun bring the moon closer to Earth, so that the Moon is 7 percent larger and 16 percent brighter. This super blood moon reminds us of the famous super moon of Jan. 26, 1948, which was also located in the sign of the home of God’s people, Cancer (the holding place) during the month of Shebat. It was later that year that the nation of Israel, home of God’s people on Earth, declared its independence. This super blood moon celebrates the nation of Israel and the many from the tribes of Israel who have accepted Christ and are a part of the multitudes who will be with God in heaven.

The super blood moon will be visible high in the Eastern sky before midnight, reaching totality at 9:41 p.m. CST.

So put on your coat, step out to see the super blood moon and tell someone how to join God’s tribe in heaven. {eoa}

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.

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What to Do When Satan Has a Hook in Your Jaw

Having Done All, Then Stand

One of my favorite verses from the Bible is also one of the most often quoted verses because it holds a promise of G-D’s deliverance and His mighty power. The verse is found in Exodus 14:13 (TLV):

"But Moses said to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!’"

Most are familiar with this verse. But for those who are not, let me lay the groundwork for you. Israel is leaving Egypt, a group of around two and a half million people, carrying all of their possessions and driving their herds toward the Red Sea. They look behind them and see the army of Egypt closing in on them.

The Egyptian army was the largest and the most advanced in the world. The forces chasing after the Israelites were made up of 600 of Egypt’s finest chariots, along with other chariots, horsemen and foot soldiers. They clearly had the advantage militarily. Upon seeing the army closing in, the children of Israel shouted at Moses:

They said to Moses, "Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!" (Ex. 14:11-12).

And this is when Moses responds to them saying:

"Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!

What makes this one of my favorite verses is that it shares so much about G-D’s love and commitment to His people. But it also shares a lot about his people and their responsibility to Him and His commitments.

Let’s look closer. The enemy is about to attack, and everyone knows it. The people are afraid, and Moses proclaims that there was no reason to fear and that G-D would save them and defeat the Egyptian army. Without hesitation, Moses proclaimed G-D would deliver. Then Moses stopped for a moment and spoke to G-D. We know this not because we have Moses’ words, but because we have G-D’s reply:

Then Adonai said to Moses, "Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward. Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen (Ex. 14:15-17).

G-D asks Moses, "Why are you crying to me … Lift up your staff over the sea and divide it" (Ex. 14:15b-16a).

So we learn from this an important lesson about G-D: He not only can but does work miracles regardless of our fears and even through our questioning.

We also learn an important lesson about how to receive the miracles of G-D as the people of G-D. Too often I have heard people in trouble just proclaim "stand and see the salvation of G-D" and while this is a powerful verse and promise, too often people forget that before the waters parted and before the destruction of the Egyptian army, the Children of Israel obeyed G-D and observed the Passover. They also packed up and left their homes heading to where G-D had directed them. It was after that they did all that G-D told them to do, demonstrating great faith, that G-D delivered them from Egypt by parting the sea and destroying the army of Egypt. In other words, before they just stood to see His salvation, they first obeyed all He had commanded.

There are times when we are stuck in "Egypt" and need a miracle. To receive it, we must first do everything we have been commanded to do, even if sometimes we do that while walking in fear and still having great questions. Then after we have done all we can, we stand and see His salvation. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom:With Eric Tokajer, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, and God Has No Plan ‘B.’

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What to Do When Satan Has a Hook in Your Jaw

Having Done All, Then Stand

One of my favorite verses from the Bible is also one of the most often quoted verses because it holds a promise of G-D’s deliverance and His mighty power. The verse is found in Exodus 14:13 (TLV):

"But Moses said to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!’"

Most are familiar with this verse. But for those who are not, let me lay the groundwork for you. Israel is leaving Egypt, a group of around two and a half million people, carrying all of their possessions and driving their herds toward the Red Sea. They look behind them and see the army of Egypt closing in on them.

The Egyptian army was the largest and the most advanced in the world. The forces chasing after the Israelites were made up of 600 of Egypt’s finest chariots, along with other chariots, horsemen and foot soldiers. They clearly had the advantage militarily. Upon seeing the army closing in, the children of Israel shouted at Moses:

They said to Moses, "Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!" (Ex. 14:11-12).

And this is when Moses responds to them saying:

"Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!

What makes this one of my favorite verses is that it shares so much about G-D’s love and commitment to His people. But it also shares a lot about his people and their responsibility to Him and His commitments.

Let’s look closer. The enemy is about to attack, and everyone knows it. The people are afraid, and Moses proclaims that there was no reason to fear and that G-D would save them and defeat the Egyptian army. Without hesitation, Moses proclaimed G-D would deliver. Then Moses stopped for a moment and spoke to G-D. We know this not because we have Moses’ words, but because we have G-D’s reply:

Then Adonai said to Moses, "Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward. Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen (Ex. 14:15-17).

G-D asks Moses, "Why are you crying to me … Lift up your staff over the sea and divide it" (Ex. 14:15b-16a).

So we learn from this an important lesson about G-D: He not only can but does work miracles regardless of our fears and even through our questioning.

We also learn an important lesson about how to receive the miracles of G-D as the people of G-D. Too often I have heard people in trouble just proclaim "stand and see the salvation of G-D" and while this is a powerful verse and promise, too often people forget that before the waters parted and before the destruction of the Egyptian army, the Children of Israel obeyed G-D and observed the Passover. They also packed up and left their homes heading to where G-D had directed them. It was after that they did all that G-D told them to do, demonstrating great faith, that G-D delivered them from Egypt by parting the sea and destroying the army of Egypt. In other words, before they just stood to see His salvation, they first obeyed all He had commanded.

There are times when we are stuck in "Egypt" and need a miracle. To receive it, we must first do everything we have been commanded to do, even if sometimes we do that while walking in fear and still having great questions. Then after we have done all we can, we stand and see His salvation. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom:With Eric Tokajer, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, and God Has No Plan ‘B.’

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‘Opposed to the dignity of the human person’: Kentucky Catholic diocese condemns teens who taunted vet at March for Life

A viral video of a group of Kentucky teens in MAGA hats taunting a Native American veteran heaped fuel Saturday on a long-running, intense argument among abortion opponents as to whether the close affiliation of many antiabortion leaders with President Trump since he took office has led to moral decay that harms the movement.

The video, which began to spread Saturday morning, showed a throng of young, mostly white teenage boys, several wearing Make America Great Again caps, closely surrounding a 64-year-old man who was beating a drum as part of an Indigenous Peoples March happening near the Lincoln Memorial on Friday.

A few of the young people chanted “Build that wall, build that wall,” the man said, adding that a teen the video shows smirking in front of him was blocking him from moving.

[‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on the MAGA-hat-wearing teens who surrounded him]

The students in the video had just come from the March for Life, the country’s largest antiabortion rally and march, which happens annually on the Mall, a few blocks east of the Lincoln Memorial.

In a statement Saturday, the Catholic high school and diocese some of the teens belong to issued a statement of apology to the man, named Nathan Phillips, and to “Native Americans in general.”

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic high school students,” a statement by the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School read. “This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion. We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and those who support the pro-life movement.”

[The abortion issue — and March for Life — are more politically polarized than ever]

The teens in the video had not been publicly identified as of Saturday evening.

The event happened as abortion opponents in recent days debated the March for Life’s decision to feature a greeting from President Trump — this year and last year — as well as one by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. Some abortion opponents say the March has become too partisan and too aligned with politically conservative figures, Trump in particular. Twenty-two percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases and 38 percent of independents say the same, according to Pew Research Center.

Antiabortion leaders’ embrace of Trump in particular has alarmed a wide range of Christian abortion opponents. They see Trump’s comments on race and immigration, his lying and crudeness as damaging to the “pro-life” label. Younger religious conservatives continue to place an extremely high priority on decreasing abortions but more and more talk of a “consistent life ethic” that sees issues like health care, global warming and support for poor pregnant women as among the issues that should be under the “pro-life” umbrella.

Catholic ethicist and writer Charles Camosy wrote in the Post last month that the antiabortion movement — including the March — is rolling back years of progress by becoming increasingly seen not as a broad-based human rights movement but as a “Republican or conservative constituency,” he wrote.

“Especially after the movement hitched its wagon to the Trump campaign, it lost a huge portion of the Trump-loathing young people who, despite agreeing with us on morality and policy, refuse to identify as pro-life. Indeed, the term has become so toxic that the group Students for Life refuses to say ‘pro-life’ when doing its activist work,” Camosy wrote.

For its part, the March for Life says the movement has been forced to align more closely with the GOP because the Democratic Party has grown less tolerant of abortion opponents. March president Jeanne Mancini, in a Post piece Friday, noted that then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in 2017 said support for abortion rights was “nonnegotiable” for Democratic candidates.

Mancini on Saturday night put out a statement condemning the students’ behavior. Some abortion opponents welcomed the statement and others said it unfairly blamed the students without curiosity or willingness to look at the connection between their actions and those of the president whose slogan they wore.

The Friday incident happened less than a week after Trump made light of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre of several hundred Lakota Indians by the U.S. Cavalry in a tweet that was meant to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), who Trump derisively calls “Pocahontas.” Last month Warren, who plans to run for president in 2020, released a DNA test to prove her Native American roots, a move criticized by many Native American groups.

A huge swath of March for Life attendees are Catholic students, from Catholic high schools that bus them into D.C. for the event, and from Catholic colleges and universities. Some Catholic high schools in the region require students to attend. Attending the March can have the feel of being at a youth sporting event or field trip, with young people wearing matching clothes laughing and visiting with friends. The image of tens of thousands of young people marching and cheering for the antiabortion cause is one of the movement’s annual highlights.

The incident sparked a range of other comments among religious leaders:

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‘Opposed to the dignity of the human person’: Kentucky Catholic diocese condemns teens who taunted vet at March for Life

A viral video of a group of Kentucky teens in MAGA hats taunting a Native American veteran heaped fuel Saturday on a long-running, intense argument among abortion opponents as to whether the close affiliation of many antiabortion leaders with President Trump since he took office has led to moral decay that harms the movement.

The video, which began to spread Saturday morning, showed a throng of young, mostly white teenage boys, several wearing Make America Great Again caps, closely surrounding a 64-year-old man who was beating a drum as part of an Indigenous Peoples March happening near the Lincoln Memorial on Friday.

A few of the young people chanted “Build that wall, build that wall,” the man said, adding that a teen the video shows smirking in front of him was blocking him from moving.

[‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on the MAGA-hat-wearing teens who surrounded him]

The students in the video had just come from the March for Life, the country’s largest antiabortion rally and march, which happens annually on the Mall, a few blocks east of the Lincoln Memorial.

In a statement Saturday, the Catholic high school and diocese some of the teens belong to issued a statement of apology to the man, named Nathan Phillips, and to “Native Americans in general.”

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic high school students,” a statement by the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School read. “This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion. We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and those who support the pro-life movement.”

[The abortion issue — and March for Life — are more politically polarized than ever]

The teens in the video had not been publicly identified as of Saturday evening.

The event happened as abortion opponents in recent days debated the March for Life’s decision to feature a greeting from President Trump — this year and last year — as well as one by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. Some abortion opponents say the March has become too partisan and too aligned with politically conservative figures, Trump in particular. Twenty-two percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases and 38 percent of independents say the same, according to Pew Research Center.

Antiabortion leaders’ embrace of Trump in particular has alarmed a wide range of Christian abortion opponents. They see Trump’s comments on race and immigration, his lying and crudeness as damaging to the “pro-life” label. Younger religious conservatives continue to place an extremely high priority on decreasing abortions but more and more talk of a “consistent life ethic” that sees issues like health care, global warming and support for poor pregnant women as among the issues that should be under the “pro-life” umbrella.

Catholic ethicist and writer Charles Camosy wrote in the Post last month that the antiabortion movement — including the March — is rolling back years of progress by becoming increasingly seen not as a broad-based human rights movement but as a “Republican or conservative constituency,” he wrote.

“Especially after the movement hitched its wagon to the Trump campaign, it lost a huge portion of the Trump-loathing young people who, despite agreeing with us on morality and policy, refuse to identify as pro-life. Indeed, the term has become so toxic that the group Students for Life refuses to say ‘pro-life’ when doing its activist work,” Camosy wrote.

For its part, the March for Life says the movement has been forced to align more closely with the GOP because the Democratic Party has grown less tolerant of abortion opponents. March president Jeanne Mancini, in a Post piece Friday, noted that then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in 2017 said support for abortion rights was “nonnegotiable” for Democratic candidates.

Mancini on Saturday night put out a statement condemning the students’ behavior. Some abortion opponents welcomed the statement and others said it unfairly blamed the students without curiosity or willingness to look at the connection between their actions and those of the president whose slogan they wore.

The Friday incident happened less than a week after Trump made light of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre of several hundred Lakota Indians by the U.S. Cavalry in a tweet that was meant to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), who Trump derisively calls “Pocahontas.” Last month Warren, who plans to run for president in 2020, released a DNA test to prove her Native American roots, a move criticized by many Native American groups.

A huge swath of March for Life attendees are Catholic students, from Catholic high schools that bus them into D.C. for the event, and from Catholic colleges and universities. Some Catholic high schools in the region require students to attend. Attending the March can have the feel of being at a youth sporting event or field trip, with young people wearing matching clothes laughing and visiting with friends. The image of tens of thousands of young people marching and cheering for the antiabortion cause is one of the movement’s annual highlights.

The incident sparked a range of other comments among religious leaders:

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Catholic school apologizes after clip emerges of students mocking Native Americans

"They’re just responding to a president that is giving license to racists and bigots who have no place in our society,” said on Native American activist.

The post Catholic school apologizes after clip emerges of students mocking Native Americans appeared first on Religion News Service.

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Prophetic Worship Leader Explains What ‘Breaker Anointing’ Really Means

The Holy Spirit has a very clear assignment and agenda in our lives. He is here to make sure Jesus gets what He paid for—a family of restored sons and daughters who know who they are and whose they are, who carry His heart and who are partnering with Him to see His kingdom come on earth. For this reason, every lie, bondage or obstacle that would keep us from becoming the fullness of Jesus’ inheritance is a target for the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of liberty who comes to set us free to know and love God, and become who He created us to be.

When Jesus began His ministry, He announced that He had been given an anointing of the Holy Spirit to set people free, "to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18). Another name for this anointing is the "breaker" anointing, which is based in part on Isaiah 10:27: "In that day his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck; and the yoke shall be destroyed ("broken," NIV) because of the anointing oil."

The yoke is a symbol of alignment and partnership. The breaker anointing of the Holy Spirit comes to shatter every point of agreement and partnership that we might have with the devil and the powers of darkness in our lives, and remove the heavy burdens and bondages they create. This frees us to align, agree and partner with Him—the one whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light (see Matt.11:30.) And as the Holy Spirit sets us free and teaches us to walk in freedom, He also invites us to release His breaker anointing to set others free.

In the fall of 2002, the Lord began to speak to me about the breaker anointing of the Holy Spirit. At the time, I was living in Minneapolis and joining Jill [Austin] on the road for ministry when I could. I had frequently heard people say this or that person "has the breaker anointing," but the term had never been explained to me. I knew enough to realize I had experienced it through Jill’s ministry, and people had told me I had it as well, but I really didn’t have language yet to explain it.

The Lord took me on a journey of discovery. He began to download Scripture to me, which the Holy Spirit would explain. One day during this time, I had what I like to call a mini-visitation in my apartment. (A visitation occurs when the Lord comes into your space and time. Basically, it means God has chosen to powerfully reveal Himself to you. Such visitations take various forms.) The presence of the Lord suddenly became uniquely tangible. I could feel the presence of angels moving through the room (see Heb. 1:7, 14) and saw what appeared to be smoke filling the air. It was as if heaven had invaded my apartment with His manifest presence. I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do, and there was something about the breaker anointing He wanted to release.

The Lord highlighted Micah 2:13 (NKJV) to me: "The one who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; their king will pass before them, with the Lord at their head." The Hebrew word translated "breaks open" and "break out" is parats; among its meanings is "to break open, to burst forth or to come out." The breaker anointing of the Spirit breaks open the heavens and removes blockages that have been preventing the presence of God from moving in its fullness. It confronts not only the bondages and issues in our individual lives, but also the dark spiritual forces that preside over cities, regions and nations.

For example, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, He broke open the heavens over Jerusalem, removing the spiritual barriers keeping people from receiving the gospel. Thousands of people from every culture and language were saved in one day due to that outpouring (see Acts 2:1–41). The breaker anointing removed the veil over the eyes of people, so that which was once hidden in darkness suddenly came into the light.

Let’s explore what the breaker anointing looks like with a story from Jill’s ministry and one of my own experiences.

In the early ’90s, Jill was invited to minister at a church in Christchurch, New Zealand. During the first meeting, the Lord moved with great power. Many were touched by His awesome presence that night. Afterward, she went back to the home of the pastor who was hosting her to get some rest.

In the middle of the night, the Lord woke her up and asked, "Do you want to dance with My angels?"

"Are they at the church?" Jill asked.

"No," He said, "they are downstairs in the living room."

Exhausted from the meeting, Jill respectfully declined the invitation. Afterward, she always said she wished she had gone down to the living room that night.

When she arrived at the church the next evening, the atmosphere was even more powerful. It was simply charged with God. Wave after wave of God’s glory invaded the room. I remember her describing the glory as so tangible that you could walk through the room and dip your hand into it. She said it was like liquid gold on your hands—you could actually see it. The church had metal chairs, and whenever a wave of God’s presence came, they would crash to the ground as people fell on them. People were not hurt one bit—they were healed, delivered and set free. {eoa}

Excerpt from Wild and Mighty Fire: Encounter the Power of the Holy Spirit, © 2019 by Andre T. Ashby, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.

Andre Ashby attended Oakwood Bible College in Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in religion, and later attended the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music, where he studied voice performance. He was also awarded a full scholarship to Grace Training Center at Metro Vineyard Fellowship in Kansas City, where he studied prophetic ministry. He is currently working on his music degree and minoring in biblical studies at William Jessup University. Andre has ministered extensively across the United States and abroad. He has seen the Lord release the fire of God through the prophetic song and word, as well as spur people on to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus. Visit bit.ly/WildMightyFire.

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Americans Call Upon Texas Governor Greg Abbott to Pursue ‘Complete Outlaw of Abortion’ as Promised to Dying Teen

Americans nationwide are calling upon Texas governor Greg Abbott to keep his promise to a teenager who died of cancer in August, who asked Abbott as his dying wish to work to outlaw abortion in the Lone Star State.

“For my wish, I wanted to talk to you and discuss a bill of abolition,” 16-year-old Jeremiah Thomas, who was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, told Abbott on the phone last June from his hospital room at McLane Children’s Hospital. “[W]e want you to treat abortion like an act of murder that should be punished by law.”

“I know that it must be difficult standing against a whole federal beast that forces abortion on us, but I think that we … could end abortion here and now,” he said.

Abbott’s response made Thomas smile. He noted that the Texas Republican party platform expresses a desire to abolish abortion, and that lawmakers plan on putting forward a bill that would make abortion illegal in the state.

“Your wish is on the Republican party platform and it’s what we’re going to be pursuing this next legislative session—that’s to outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas,” he told Thomas, the recording of which has been posted to social media. “And so, your wish has been granted.”

The legislation referenced by Abbott is that of Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who similarly presented a bill to abolish abortion last year, but it was stalled by the speaker of the House. Tinderholt has re-filed his bill for the 2019 legislative season.

Now that the bill has been put forward once again and the legislature is back in session, a campaign has been launched to hold Abbott to his promise.

Matt Trewhella of Missionaries to the Preborn and pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin told Christian News Network that the time is right to press Abbott to take a stand for the preborn.

“This whole thing that the GOP politicians and pro-life, pro-family groups have been doing for years of trying to regulate the murder of the preborn needs to stop,” he stated. “Rather they need to say, ‘State magistrates, do your duty and stop this murder in our state.’”

“Gov. Abbott can use his influence behind the scenes regarding this bill of interposition and abolition of the murder of the preborn,” Trewhella explained. “We’re hoping that he will use his influence behind the scenes so that the bill does get a full hearing before the legislature, and we’re hopeful that it will pass and that he will sign it.”

Trewhella, the author of “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates,” outlined that today’s civil leaders must return to the concept of interposition, that is, to stand in the gap whenever those of greater power issue decrees that are evil and conflict with the law of God.

“Western civilization has always stood upon the needed premise that divine law trumps human law [and] that unjust laws are no laws at all,” he stated, adding that the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade is “not even a law,” but an opinion.

Trewhella further pointed to the words of the words of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote a letter to William Jarvis in 1820 to express concern about the inordinate weight of authority and infallibility presumed to belong to the nation’s judges.

“You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an Oligarchy,” Jefferson wrote. “… The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party it’s members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”

Trewhella explained that such is why the founders created multiple levels and branches of government, so that “if any one branch began to play the tyrant, even if it was the Supreme Court itself, all of the branches would interpose against the tyrant in order to reign in their tyranny.”

He lamented that no civil magistrates seem to be taking a stand in the modern day.

“Do we think we can fill the nation with innocent blood and escape the righteous judgment of God?” Trewhella asked. “The interposition of the just magistrate or magistrates may possibly abate the just judgment of God, but none has come forth—not one governor, not one attorney general, not one legislature, not one mayor, not one city council.”

“46 years now of brutal bloodshed of the most helpless, and all these lesser magistrates have done is quibble and falsely lament how they must obey the Supreme Court. And such thinking as that stands in utter contradiction to Scripture and utter contradiction to the whole history of western civilization,” he added.

As previously reported, Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who identified herself as “the most pro-life governor in the nation,” vetoed a bill that would have outlawed abortion in the state, opining that the issue of abortion has to be dealt with in the nation’s highest court, and that the legislation would not “accomplish that re-examination.”

“In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court,” she remarked in her veto message.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich has now twice vetoed a bill that would ban abortion whenever a heartbeat is detected, stating that such a law would not hold up in court and the state would end up paying thousands in legal fees to Planned Parenthood.

“As governor, I have worked hard to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life, and I have a deep respect for my fellow members of the pro-life community and their ongoing efforts in defense of unborn life,” Kasich wrote in his veto explanation. “However, the central provision of H.B. 258, that an abortion cannot be performed if a heartbeat has been detected in the unborn child, is contrary to the Supreme Court rulings on abortion.”

“This is why we need to call upon [Gov. Abbott] to be different,” Trewhella said. “The GOP politicians and the pro-life, pro-family groups have been following the Roe paradigm for 46 years now. In other words, [they are] acting like they have to obey the Roe v. Wade issued by the court in 1973. And so everything they do goes back to the court, and the court is the tyrant that started this bloodshed.”

“What we’re saying here is, and what Rep. Tinderholt’s bill does—it says, we’re going to ignore the Roe v. Wade opinion, we are going to ignore the Supreme Court, we are not going to obey this evil that they have foisted upon the land,” he outlined. “And this is what our founders expected to happen, because our founders established a true federalism.”

As previously reported, in 2017, as the State of Texas had been sued surrounding a law that required aborted babies to either be buried or cremated, Assistant Attorney General John Langley told U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in court that “fetal tissue is not human remains” under Texas law.

“So it’s the official doctrine of the state that fetal tissue is not human remains?” Sparks inquired. “So you’re bringing dignity to non-human remains?”

“[Texas cremation law] deals with human bodies—bodies that have been born, lived and died. Fetal remains are categorized as pathological waste. It’s not a human body. It hasn’t been born,” Langley later stated. “It’s the state’s best effort to try to make the best of this situation.”

It is remarks like these, Trewhella said, and the regulation of abortion rather than the abolishment of it, that heighten the need to call upon Gov. Abbott to take a stand and be different from the status quo. He noted that under the role of the people at this time is to encourage Abbott to do what is right, and then to stand with him when he does so.

“The role of the people regarding the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate is to prod their magistrates to do right when evil is trying to be done by the superior civil authority, and then to rally around their magistrate—to give them everything personally, publicly, of their prayers—to stand with them in their interposition,” Trewhella stated.

When asked how he could provide insight into why Christians need to get involved in issues such as these, he explained that the Body of Christ must live in sync with the heart of God, and be motivated to act out of a burden for those things that hurt and offend a holy God, rather than coasting along with the rest of cultural Christianity.

“When you read history and you read the prophets of the Holy Scripture, you see that luxury is often an enemy of the souls of men. Luxury and ease tends of un-man them and destroy nations,” Trewhella said. “And we, as Christian people, are not immune to the luxury and ease of this nation, and so we have to spend time in God’s word and with each other talking about the things of Him in order to be built up in the faith, in order to stay on the straight and narrow path, and to do those things that are dear to His heart.”

“When it comes to the helpless and the shedding of innocent blood, we need to speak out so that bloodshed is brought to an end in our nation,” he exhorted.

A website has been launched surrounding the effort, called JeremiahsWish.org, where visitors may also sign a petition to Gov. Abbott. Supporters nationwide are also uploading videos to social media calling for Abbott to keep his promise to Thomas.

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Banish the Spirit of Fear With These 3 Crucial Responses

There is no question we live in an increasingly fearful culture. It’s important that you realize that fear is seeking to have access to your thinking all day long. So we need to be armed up. If God spoke the phrase "do not fear" hundreds of times in the Scriptures, it’s important we be ready to overcome the fear-based attacks that come against us.

You cannot always see fear with your eyes, but you feel it and hear it in your thoughts. Of course there is a normal fear response built into your system for moments when you need to either flee a dangerous scene or gain energy to face a sudden crisis.

A Spiritual Battle

But there is also a force of fear that the Bible calls a spirit of fear. It’s the enemy’s way to hijack your thinking and put you under the influence of fear, so you become more anxious, worried, apprehensive and passive. Your faith will weaken and your confidence in love can get diluted.

That is why it’s important to discern fear’s voice in your thoughts and feelings. Not every thought is your own, so you need to recognize when fear is trying to speak.

With that in mind, there are two responses to fear of which you need to be aware. You will also need to know which one you’ll need to use in a given circumstance.

1. Learn to cast down fear.

When a fearful thought comes your way, what you first often do is take the thought and cast it down. Don’t debate with it or waste your time arguing with it. If you do, you’ll often find yourself in piles of fear-ridden, spaghetti-like thoughts that have wrapped around you. Fear is to be treated like a terrorist. You don’t negotiate with terrorists. It only feeds the torment and enlarges its narrative.

So the first response is, "I am not going to listen to fear and serve its thoughts anymore." You may hear them, but you don’t have to serve them.

Over time, you can develop your spiritual muscles and detect fear’s voice quicker. It takes practice, because most of us have been used to going with fear every time it speaks.

So the change starts with a decision that says, "I am not going to listen to fear anymore" and we detox its ways out of our system.

That’s the power of repentance, which breaks the agreement with fear’s thoughts.

So the first response is to cast it down. When fear gets out of the equation, we can see much more clearly with faith.

2. Face What You Fear

The second response can be a more challenging one at times, because many of the things we fear, we actually need to face.

Most of the fearful thoughts that come our way need no attention at all. Ignore them. But there are fears that you will need to face in order to defeat them.

For example, there are people I have worked with who have been dealing with certain symptoms in their body. Over time, they wonder if they have some type of illness. The fear keeps pounding at them, but they haven’t gotten it checked out.

They keep saying no to fear, but they probably just need to face the issue, go get checked and get some clarity on what’s going on with their body. Many times, they are afraid of going to the doctor or fearful they may hear a bad report. Regardless, this is a great example of facing the issue that fear has attached itself to.

How to Know the Difference

So how do you know which one to use in a given situation?

The answer to this question is: wisdom. You need wisdom.

The good news is that God gives it our freely.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).

You need wisdom to know which fear you need to ignore and which one you need to face. Gaining that wisdom takes a few things:

  1. Practice: We need to learn over time what wisdom is saying. Sometimes we confuse fear for wisdom. Fear often cloaks itself under the guise of "wise concern."
  2. Building faith: James says when we ask for wisdom, "ask in faith." This means trusting that God is sending you wisdom.
  3. Not letting doubt win: Doubt is a partner to fear. In fact, doubt is empowered by fear. Fear says, "what if," giving room for doubt to win the narrative.
  4. Getting single-minded: When listening to doubt and fear, we allow a second way of thinking to interfere, making us double-minded and unstable. You were only meant to have one mind, one focus and one direction. When we get two minds colliding, we "tilt" and lose our ability to walk in fruitfulness.

So ask God for wisdom. Know He is sending it your way. Allow that wisdom to help you overthrow fear in your life.

You do not need fear to be your counselor anymore. Get a new counselor that is built on faith, hope and love! {eoa}

Mark DeJesus has served as an experienced communicator since the 1990s. As a teacher, author, coach and radio host, Mark is deeply passionate about awakening hearts and equipping people towards transformational living. His message involves getting to the core hindrances that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. He is well-versed on struggles that originate within our thoughts. Through his own personal transformation, Mark is experienced in helping people overcome and live fruitful lives. He is the author of five books and hundreds of teachings. He hosts a weekly radio podcast show called "Transformed You" and blogs at markdejesus.com. His writings have been featured on sites like charismamag.com.

This article originally appeared at markdejesus.com.

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‘I’m Bringing You Into Your Amos 9:13 Season’: A Prophetic Promise for Divine Favor

"I’m bringing you into your Amos 9:13 season." Those were the words I heard clearly in my spirit, and they couldn’t have been more pronounced had I heard them audibly spoken. As I awakened early in the morning, I reached for my Bible. I had no idea what was written in Amos 9:13.

Still drowsy, I read: "Indeed, the days are coming, says the Lord, when the plowman will overtake the one who is reaping, and the treader of grapes the one who is sowing the seed; the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will flow with it."

I said aloud, "Thanks, I suppose." Then I placed the Bible aside and tried to return to sleep. But those words would not leave me. They continued to swirl in my spirit until I walked downstairs to the study.

Once there, I reached for The Message Bible. I have often gained insight and inspiration from this interpretation of God’s Word, and I wanted to see how it rendered Amos 9:13. It read:

"’Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.’ God’s Decree. ‘Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills.’"

As I absorbed that Old Testament passage back in the summer of 2012, I became aware of the Holy Spirit leading me into a redefined paradigm of living, accentuated by three promises I heard spoken into my spirit:

"I will exceed all you expect."

"I will increase all you invest."

"I will accelerate time to accomplish My kingdom purpose through your life."

What I felt then was beyond mere emotional fervor. I experienced what I call a "faith resurrection." Suddenly, I was moved into a zone of remarkable trust and confidence in God.

I had not experienced that level of miracle faith in quite some time, even though throughout my ministry I had seen miraculous blessings in every realm of life. This was the beginning of the most remarkable time I had known in nearly four decades of ministry. With no exaggeration, I lived a miracle every day of that particular year and have continued to see unprecedented miracles ever since.

I was introduced to what I came to identify as "the Amos paradigm." This was more than a season. It was a new way of living. I was discovering life at the speed of favor. I came to understand by the Spirit, which was confirmed by the Word of God, that as sure as there is a speed of light and a speed of sound, there is a speed of favor—a divine pace at which God sovereignly pours out His blessings upon us.

God will exceed all you expect. He will increase all you invest. And He will accelerate time to accomplish His kingdom purpose in and through you. That is the word the Lord gave me early one morning in July 2012. Since then, He has done that and more in my life, and He has revealed that the promises of Amos 9:13 are not reserved only for me. They are for anyone who takes Him at His Word and obeys His promptings.

God is releasing this season of unprecedented favor and accelerated increase to bring in His end-time harvest. Yet as He builds His kingdom, the overflow of His favor will touch your life and mine. We will see miraculous provision, supernatural breakthrough and unparalleled blessing—"things are going to happen so fast your head will swim."

If you are a child of God, these troubled times are nothing to fear. God is pouring out His Spirit and releasing His favor at breakneck speed. Nothing can rival the speed of His favor.

Timeless Promises

It is important to understand that God’s words to Israel, though spoken almost 3,000 years ago, are relevant to His children today. In Scripture, some prophecies are fulfilled in the short term while others take years, sometimes even decades, to manifest. Although numerous biblical prophecies are specific to a particular people, place and time, other prophecies fulfill a dual purpose. These unique prophecies may very well speak to the times of the initial utterance while also speaking to a time period yet to come. So it was and is with Amos 9:13.

The promise of accelerated favor most certainly applied to ancient Israel. However, never think for a moment that this promise isn’t applicable to you as well. This promise transcends time, culture and need.

Paul clarified that we as God’s children are heirs of promise as part of the "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16b, MEV). He affirms the same truth with these words, "Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise" (Gal. 4:18, ESV). To be clear, as Christians we have not replaced Israel in the divine plan and providence of God, but we have been gloriously brought in to this promise by adoption and inheritance through Christ Jesus.

I challenge you to blow the ancient dust off Amos 9:13, take hold of it personally and allow it to be activated in your life now.

Four Promises

Every promise appropriated from heaven needs to be activated on earth. Every few years, the bank I use sends me new debit and credit cards with the instructions to call a specific number in order to activate the account.

Nothing works until I take the few moments necessary to do my part. Similarly, you and I must personally
activate God’s generous promises.

With any promise given from the heavenly Father, it is our responsibility to recognize it, rely on it and rest in it. Jesus said in Mark 11:24 (MEV), "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them."

I am convinced as never before that this is the day of overflow for the kingdom of heaven. God is accelerating His work among His people in these last days, and it is by no accident that we are alive at this epoch in history. We were chosen to be a life-giving generation with a life-changing and prophetic word to this world.

We have been given these promises, and we are to declare them to others. They include a promise of:

Accelerated harvest. As Jesus told His disciples in John 4:35, indeed the fields are already ripened for the harvest. As Amos prophesied about a time when the reapers would be overtaken by those ready to plow and sow the fields again, this powerful word from the Lord completely describes the current ingathering that is happening around the world. Don’t believe the naysayers and pessimists. An unexcelled and unprecedented wave of missions is spanning the globe. Just as one generation completes its labor, a new and younger generation with greater energy, resolve and boldness is on the heels of the previous one ready to reap another harvest.

Accelerated opportunity. We are in a season of opportunity unlike any the church has ever known. The complexities of national and world events combined with a spiritual climate rarely seen in our lifetime all lend themselves to unprecedented open doors for Christ to be made known. An increased wave of immigration has brought the world to the doorsteps of America, and now the United States is literally a "nation of nations." This fact alone creates exponential kingdom possibilities. Many new immigrant believers become amazing missionary evangelists not only to their own communities in the United States, but also to their homeland. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will enable us to see and seize the opportunities He brings our way.

Accelerated restoration. I feel a burden to tell you that you have entered into a day of divine recovery. Just as God promised Israel through the prophet Joel, He will restore all that the enemy of your soul has devoured (see Joel 2:25-27). God’s promise to Israel was a complete restoration of the years that had been taken away. His promise to them and to you is a restoration of lost time. I’m not talking merely about days and months, but even the years of lost health and peace previously stolen by your adversary.

Accelerated power. God has promised us unusual power for unusual tasks. In Luke 4:18, Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed."

Here we see a clear link between task and anointing. It seems that throughout Scripture, a strong case is made to support the fact that God provides power commensurate with a task. In Acts 10:38, Peter said, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit has endowed us with favor for these times. So why should any believer yield to the intimidation of Satan? Jesus made this promise: "Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19).

Friend, God is for you! He has empowered you, and you have no reason to be afraid. Abide in relationship with Him and receive His boldness to powerfully advance His kingdom. Indeed, this is life at the speed of favor. {eoa}

Tim Hill is an ordained bishop in the Church of God and currently serves as the general overseer.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God’s presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers who choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.

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A church spent $16,500 on groceries for federal workers. The gift cards were gone in 30 minutes.

The state of Alabama has nearly 40,000 federal employees, all sitting, paycheck-less and increasingly desperate, during the partial government shutdown. It seemed like just about all of them were in a line that snaked around the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Huntsville on Thursday.

The church had decided to dip into its disaster-relief fund — and passed the collection plate around an extra time or two — to purchase $16,500 in grocery store gift cards, earmarked for furloughed federal employees.

They opened the doors to the sanctuary at 10 a.m.

By 10:30 a.m., all the gift cards were gone.

More than 700 people had walked through the door, church officials estimated, but the speed at which the gift cards were snapped up astounded Travis Collins, the senior pastor. Nearly once every six seconds, they were putting a gift card into the hands of a needy worker.

Listening to NPR on the way to the office on Monday, Collins heard a story about D.C. chef Jose Andres, who’d opened a relief kitchen for federal employees. Collins was struck by a quote from Andres about giving people one less bill to worry about and wondered if his church could do something to help.

The pastor discovered others had the same idea. A few of them worked at Marshall Space Flight Center, the Huntsville-based facility that builds engines and vehicles for NASA. This week’s task was more earthly: They wanted to bring social service and community organizations together to render some aid to federal workers. But they needed a centrally-located place that could handle a large crowd.

First Baptist Church fit the bill. It’s one of the largest churches in Huntsville, and has a distinct mural on its facade, something locals have nicknamed “Eggbeater Jesus.”

The church planned to use $14,000 from its emergency fund, in addition to another $2,500 members had given, to buy grocery store gift cards: $50 apiece for every furloughed federal worker. But 18 other community organizations were also there, including the Alabama Department of Labor, a local food bank and two credit unions offering tips on how to survive missed paychecks.

The shutdown was triggered by an impasse between President Trump and Congress over his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, putting him at odds with Democrats, who control the House of Representatives.

The president is expected to present a new deal on border wall funding on Saturday, but Democrats have already indicated that the proposal won’t be enough to sway their votes, meaning the shutdown is likely to continue into its fifth week.

On Wednesday, Trump signed legislation that would give back pay to the 800,000 federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown. But the workers can’t pay rent or buy groceries with IOUs. And the shutdown is affecting not just government employees and contract workers, it’s also affecting an economy built around them.

The community organizations gathered at First Baptist Saturday morning joined a growing group of organizations and individuals who have tried to help workers who have been furloughed or are being required to work without pay.

Members of churches in Atlanta paid electric and grocery bills for federal employees impacted by the shutdown. A Tennessee congregation donated $1,200 worth of gift cards to TSA workers.

But seeing all those people stream through his church’s doors hammered home the effect of partisan wrangling on his community, Collins said.

On Sunday, Collins said, he plans to preach a sermon from the book of Galatians, a strong message about joy.

“I’m going to make reference to the situation,” he told The Post. “How do you find joy when you’re not getting a paycheck and your neighbor or your sister is not getting a paycheck. But barring deep wounds or depression, joy is a choice.”

He also wanted to highlight the many members of his church who opted to volunteer on Thursday morning.

“Instead of sitting home and writing their congressman, which they would be well within their rights to do, they got out and decided to help someone.”

Read more:

Her furloughed husband missed a paycheck on Friday. She picked up a $100K lottery check instead.

‘I been eatin like a boss’: Federal prisoners served steak by unpaid guards during shutdown

A black R&B artist hoped singing for Trump would build ‘a bridge.’ It derailed her career instead.

Watch a truck driver rescue a child who tumbled out of a car onto a busy road

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The Turn-Around Point That Moved This Woman to Lose 250 Pounds

Caterpillars and bulbs have something in common with me. They are examples of transformation. A transformation, by definition, means a thorough or substantial change is form or appearance. That has definitely happened to me.

Plant an ugly old bulb in the fall, and by spring, you will have a beautiful tulip; that is, if it’s the right type of bulb. The process takes several months, but when the flower blooms, it is indeed a picture of transformation.

Caterpillars, if they are the right type, will change into beautiful butterflies. From a baby worm crawling on the ground to the splendid winged insect flying high takes only four to five weeks.

Both of these transformations are God-created occurrences. My transformation took a lot longer than either of these. Yet, if I had not stopped insisting on my own way and finally begun to turn everything over to God, my transformation would have never happened.

My Transformation

I used to weigh 430 pounds. I’ve lost 250 pounds, but only by allowing God to lead me every step of the way.

After losing the weight, I retraced my steps to understand exactly how, with God’s help, I totally changed my lifestyle. It’s difficult to understand while one is in the midst of it, but dissecting how it happened has allowed me to help others.

Every person is different, and every person’s journey should be different, but God showed me there were basically five key stages I went through, and others who want to lose weight must go through as well. These steps were necessary not to just go on another diet, but to lose weight, change our habits and keep the weight off.

Acceptance, Ownership and Surrender

My journey started with acceptance that I had a problem. In this stage, all I wanted was to find the perfect diet to "fix" me. Diets, though, were more of a problem than a solution for me. They promised quick weight loss, but never lasting weight loss.

Before we can change anything, we have to know what needs to be changed. In the second stage, I had to understand and own my specific issue. For me, that was sugar addiction. To get through that, I had to surrender my dependence on foods made with processed sugar to God.

For me, this was the hardest stage, but without it, my transformation would have never taken place. Weight loss may have occurred, but I would have gained it back again plus more, as I’d always done. After this turn-around point, weight loss became the easiest hard thing I’ve ever done.

Tools, Discipline and Experience

Once I surrendered sugar, though, I had to understand how to change my habits, which included eating sugar to assuage every emotion and anesthetize every pain. This led me to the next two stages of learning tools and disciplines necessary for me to change my lifestyle, and going through life experiences while putting these in action.

It was in the third and fourth stages where weight loss began and continued for me. It’s where I learned how to continue my change journey without falling back into old, harmful life patterns.

Mastery

The last stage is the stage of mastery, or the wise overcomer. To step into this stage, I had successfully changed my habits and lost weight. I had also lived through the difficulties of life and come out holding tightly to God’s hand. This is the stage where we stay strong, and if we fall, we know to turn to God, a mentor and others on the journey to encourage and support us.

This is also the stage where we can begin to help others on the journey. We can mentor them sharing the process that has worked for us.

Progressive Change

Transformation is not a quick process. Losing 16 pounds in four weeks as some weight loss programs promise will just mean gaining it back in the next four weeks unless we’ve learned how to totally change in every way—body, soul and spirit.

We didn’t get this way overnight, and we won’t change overnight. It is a journey where we progressively change.

Romans 12:2 is the transformation Scripture. The Amplified Version says: "Do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]."

Doing the Will of God

That’s a mouthful, but notice that progressively changing, not changing overnight, is necessary to do the will of God. There is no doubt that the health of our bodies is God’s will for us. When we take care of our bodies, we glorify and honor God (1 Cor. 6:20).

Make this the year you focus on changing your habits in order to not just lose weight, but honor God with your consistent lifestyle. {eoa}

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.

This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.

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Pastor Couple Prophesies: 2019 Will Be the ‘Greatest Year Ever’

This year, you will experience the greatest year ever. This is more than a simple New Year’s resolution. It is a prophetic declaration of what God is going to do for you this year. For years, the Lord has given us a set of instructions for the year to come. This year was no different. On Jan. 1, the Lord declared the arrival of our greatest year ever. When we asked the Lord for clarity, He gave us these five simple instructions.

  • Prepare to leave behind the familiar.
  • Get comfortable with knowing less—I am not going to give you all the details. Trust me when facing the unknown.
  • Prepared to acquire new skills and connect with new people.
  • Confess and decree what I show you even when it does not initially appear.
  • Stay laser focused and beware of distraction.

Our progress is often hindered when we fear moving out of our comfort zone. Our trust in God, despite the unknowns, can be the defining factor that separates our present from our future. In Romans, Abraham was described as the father of faith. When we explore his history in the Old Testament, we find many occasions where he was tested by God. He was challenged to leave the familiar in search of a land he knew nothing about. He trusted God with the details, moving on his belief in God’s faithfulness. By example, Abraham taught us that placing our trust in God always pays off.

In 2019, God is challenging us to leave our familiar surroundings, meet new people and learn new things. Abraham showed us that obedience results in the manifestation of every God given promise.

We have learned that developing our faith is the best strategy to gain the courage to move out of our comfort zone. Did you know that declarations and confessions are one of the most powerful methods of increasing your faith? Norvell Hayes was known for saying, "You can have what you say!" The Scriptures teach us that hearing is the key to developing faith because "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17, KJV).

There are numerous texts within Scripture that reference the power of the professed word.

God demonstrated this for us when he created the heavens, the earth and the stars. As His children, we too have the power to create our world with the spoken word. Proverbs 18:21 teaches us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Moreover, one of the synoptic Gospels writes, "For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says" (Mark 11:21-23, MEV). We as believers have power to speak our destiny into existence. Following this principle, we have written the following faith confessions for 2019 designed to increase our expectations of God and strengthen our faith.

Confessions and Declarations for 2019

—2019 will be the year of the Greatest Successes of my life.

—2019 will be my best year ever.

—I am stronger than I’ve ever been.

—I am smarter than I’ve ever been.

—I am more determined than I’ve ever been.

—I am more anointed than I’ve ever been.

—I am more focused than I’ve ever been before.

—I will grow more than I’ve ever grown.

—I am more prepared than I’ve ever been.

—I have more clarity than I’ve ever had.

—I have more wisdom than I’ve ever had.

—I have more knowledge than I’ve ever had.

—I have more vision than I’ve ever had.

—I have more faith than I’ve ever had.

—I have more revelation than I’ve ever had before.

—I have a better relationship with God than I’ve ever had before.

—I know more about God than I’ve ever know before.

—I know more about His word than I’ve ever known before.

—I know more about His Spirit than I’ve ever known before.

—I see things on an entirely new level.

—I will give more than I’ve ever given because I am going to receive more than I’ve ever received.

—I will sow more than I’ve ever sown because I will reap the largest harvest I’ve ever had.

—I will write more life-altering books; run more multi-billion-dollar businesses; have more world-changing; industry-disrupting ideas; develop more patents and create more inventions than I ever have before.

—I will build bigger and better than I’ve ever built before.

—I will achieve more than I’ve ever achieved before.

—I will do more than I’ve ever done.

—I am committed to the success of my destiny and my future.

—I am going to do it, no matter what it takes.

We challenge you to join us in reciting these powerful confessions at least once a day. We believe that you will see the manifestation of the words you speak right before your eyes.

Proverbs 4:25-27 says, "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; remove your foot from evil." It is paramount that we remain focused on what we are believing God for, rejecting distractions. Whatever has your focus, has your energy. This year, let us believe more and expect more from our heavenly Father. {eoa}

LaJun and Valora Cole are a ministry power-team based in Tampa, Florida where they serve as global senior pastors of Contagious Church with campuses in Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville Florida and Charlotte, NC. La Jun and Valora are published authors of several books including their latest release with Destiny Image Publishers entitled Sudden Breakthrough. To contact LaJun and Valora, visit lajunandvalora.com, dial 1-844 We R Cole or visit social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or You Tube). Their latest book , Sudden Breakthrough may be purchased anywhere books are sold. For signed copies, go to their website.

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Real-Talk Kim: The Devil Steals Your Purpose When You Give Way to This Lie

Sometimes life paralyzes you and prevents your next step. The tragedy is that when you shrink from moving forward, you set yourself up to fear change and accept stagnation. Do you know people who avoid change and allow challenges to put them in a box? They feel safe and content as long as everything stays the same. They feel threatened when anything changes. Then they wonder why life seems to pass them by.

I can tell you that this is not what God intended. If the Creator of the universe could breathe life into us and speak the world into existence, don’t you think He wants greater things for us than we could even imagine?

Of course He does! If the enemy can keep us bound by fear, he will successfully steal our purpose. How else can he oppose God and destroy the deliverer in each of us?

At the same time, we oppose ourselves. When life doesn’t go according to our plans, we see it as a signal to hit the brakes, which is how paralysis begins. But does that make any sense? Do you know anyone who has never experienced pain? I don’t. Everyone has suffered loss, whether it involves marriage, finances, jobs, children or health. So should everyone quit moving forward?

Face it: Pain touches us all. How you deal with pain makes all the difference. You can become intentional, overcome your trauma and refuse to be robbed of life’s pleasures. Or you can settle for just existing from day to day—going to work, making dinner, watching TV and going to bed. You can live that kind of life in your sleep because you are not present. You no longer think about the joys of life. You don’t notice the flowers blooming or children laughing. Gone is the anticipation of anniversary dinners, career promotions and graduations. You don’t allow yourself to hope because you think all hope is lost.

Emotional paralysis occurs for many reasons. You might learn to tolerate your pain rather than deal with the root causes. This leaves you numb to those you should be calling to account—those who create havoc in your life. Maybe your own decisions have triggered your current circumstances, and you bury your pain by "just living with" whatever befalls you.

There is a better way. Even if you do not know the way out of your troubles, you can walk in forgiveness and repent of the choices that have caused you pain. You can find biblical examples of how to take up your bed of affliction and walk.

As long as blood is running through your veins, you will have bad days and tough seasons. Storms will come and wreak havoc in your life. You might even go from one storm to another and wonder why. The good news is that every storm runs out of rain sometime. Your storm is at most a season, not a life sentence. That does not mean hellacious storms won’t sometimes pile on. You don’t just lose your job; the car breaks down too. You don’t just get divorced; your doctor finds a tumor at the same time.

This is what I mean when I say Satan can’t take you out, so he’ll try to wear you out. When that happens, you must step back and take stock. Ask yourself questions such as, "How did I get here, and why? Did I refuse to see what was on the horizon? What changes must I make?"

This is also the time to welcome God into your situation. Ask Him to show you where you need to make adjustments so you can break generational curses and other negative patterns. Generational curses are real, but when you receive Christ into your heart, He lives inside you. So the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and will set you free from bondages that try to imprison you.

But you cannot be healed of the pain you ignore. You have to deal with whatever has devastated you. Hiding behind a mask and a fake smile will not ward off your restless nights. If you want to be free, honesty is the best policy.

Often, the things you tell yourself cause your greatest heartaches. Without realizing it, you can treat what you say as a binding commitment. I’m talking about pronouncements such as "I’ll never love again" or "I’ll never break free of that person’s influence over my life," You choose whether to make those statements, but you can also choose to renounce them.

Recognize your untreated pain, and recognize your strength, which comes from the Lord. He said that He will never leave nor forsake you. (See Heb.13:5.) He does not walk away from you. He is with you no matter how lonely you feel. Don’t allow your past denial of your pain to negate your relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship cannot be measured against your earthly relationships. We are broken vessels, and we will continue to fail. However, failure is not defeat until you quit trying. Decide to leave negativity and illicit relationships behind you. Determine that you will no longer admit unwelcome intruders into your life to hijack your faith and rob you of your peace. It is time for your pain to be healed.

real talk kim bookAdapted from When Your Bad Meets His Good—Find Purpose in Your Pain by Kimberly Jones-Pothier, copyright 2018, published by Charisma House. Motivated by her personal testimony, Kimberly shares how she let God turn her mess into a message. Her book will help you move past your pain and dark season toward your best days ahead.

Prayer Power for the Week of Jan. 13, 2019

Thank the Lord that He never leaves you nor forsakes you no matter what circumstance you find yourself facing. Ask Him to reveal areas where you may be in denial and to show you the truth that needs to be faced so He can bring healing and restoration. Thank Him for this new year and the opportunities He is giving you in it. Continue to pray for worldwide revival, for our leaders and allies, and the peace of Jerusalem. Read Hebrews 13:5.

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Rick Joyner: Prepare for a Spiritual Atomic-Like Explosion in 2020

2018 was a remarkable and wonderful year. 2019 will continue be even more so. Every year from now on will be more so, but key elements of a great spiritual critical mass will begin to come together in the coming year. This will begin a spiritual atomic-like explosion in 2020. What are the elements that are coming together for this to happen?

A Time of Great Increase

The first will be a growing relationship and union with the Lord. Many have begun to experience the greatest times they have ever had in their relationship with the Lord. For those who seek Him, this will continually increase. There will also be an increasing unity and cooperation between individuals, ministries and movements. We are told in Ecclesiastes 4 that two are better than one, and a cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Therefore, wherever two or three begin to unite in purpose, there will be a multiplication of power and fruitfulness. The demonstration of this will cause a cascading affect that will draw others into the great movements of the future. This will release more definition and focus to the body of Christ than it has had in generations. This is the beginning of what, over the next decade, will eclipse the experiences of the first-century church.

As this is taking place in the spirit, the fracturing and divisions in the natural will also increase. The verses that I was given for this were Hebrews 12:25-29:

See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who spoke on earth, much less shall we escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has given us a promise, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven."And this statement, "Yet once more," signifies the removal of those things that can be shaken, things that are created, so that only those things that cannot be shaken will remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us be gracious, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

Following the Lord in all that we do is no longer just an option. It will be increasingly costly to disregard the word of the Lord or His guidance in our lives. This is because of His love for us, as was emphasized earlier in Hebrews 12. He must prepare His people for the time when not heeding His voice can be devastating or even fatal. So the discipline and consequences of this will increase in speed and degree. However, the fruit of obeying will likewise increase.

Standing on the Rock in a Time of Shaking

The national, cultural, religious and economic fault lines will all become increasingly unstable, and the tremors will grow throughout the world. Major shaking will break out where it was thought to be stable and secure. The right interpretation of the signs of the times is to disengage from those things that can be shaken and resolutely give ourselves to the kingdom that cannot be shaken. If we have built our lives on the rock, no worldly storm can bring us down. Those who have built their lives on the rock will begin to pull many from the shifting quicksands of this world.

Keeping Him first in our devotion and affection, seeking first His kingdom in every major decision, is the most important principle in how to build our lives on the Rock. Those who do this have nothing to fear from the times, but they will grow in righteousness, peace and joy. That is the nature of the kingdom.

A Time of Harvest and of Champions

We are now entering the harvest that is the end of the age. The greatest move of God that has ever been is now upon us. The greatest ingathering into the kingdom is just beginning. There has never been anything like it before, and there will not be anything like it again. These are the times that all the righteous of old and even the angels desired to see, and we are here to live in them.

The deep darkness that is now spreading over the people will only make the light appear that much brighter. Just as the greatest prophets arose during the greatest times of Israel’s apostasy, great champions are about to be released throughout the world, preaching the Good News of the coming kingdom. The result will be that the nations will come to the light (see Isa. 60:1-5). Don’t ever forget that the light will ultimately win; the truth will ultimately prevail; and we too will prevail if we walk in His light and His truth.

I was given a series of dreams at the end of 2018 in which I was shown that some lines have been crossed that will have significant consequences, especially for the United States. I will begin to share these in our Word for the Week (future articles). Some of these things may be shocking at first, but we must see them, be prepared for them, and understand that they are "inevitable, right and will be successful." {eoa}

Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben and Sam.

This article originally appeared at elijahlist.com.

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Rick Joyner: Prepare for a Spiritual Atomic-Like Explosion in 2020

2018 was a remarkable and wonderful year. 2019 will continue be even more so. Every year from now on will be more so, but key elements of a great spiritual critical mass will begin to come together in the coming year. This will begin a spiritual atomic-like explosion in 2020. What are the elements that are coming together for this to happen?

A Time of Great Increase

The first will be a growing relationship and union with the Lord. Many have begun to experience the greatest times they have ever had in their relationship with the Lord. For those who seek Him, this will continually increase. There will also be an increasing unity and cooperation between individuals, ministries and movements. We are told in Ecclesiastes 4 that two are better than one, and a cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Therefore, wherever two or three begin to unite in purpose, there will be a multiplication of power and fruitfulness. The demonstration of this will cause a cascading affect that will draw others into the great movements of the future. This will release more definition and focus to the body of Christ than it has had in generations. This is the beginning of what, over the next decade, will eclipse the experiences of the first-century church.

As this is taking place in the spirit, the fracturing and divisions in the natural will also increase. The verses that I was given for this were Hebrews 12:25-29:

See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who spoke on earth, much less shall we escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has given us a promise, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven."And this statement, "Yet once more," signifies the removal of those things that can be shaken, things that are created, so that only those things that cannot be shaken will remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us be gracious, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

Following the Lord in all that we do is no longer just an option. It will be increasingly costly to disregard the word of the Lord or His guidance in our lives. This is because of His love for us, as was emphasized earlier in Hebrews 12. He must prepare His people for the time when not heeding His voice can be devastating or even fatal. So the discipline and consequences of this will increase in speed and degree. However, the fruit of obeying will likewise increase.

Standing on the Rock in a Time of Shaking

The national, cultural, religious and economic fault lines will all become increasingly unstable, and the tremors will grow throughout the world. Major shaking will break out where it was thought to be stable and secure. The right interpretation of the signs of the times is to disengage from those things that can be shaken and resolutely give ourselves to the kingdom that cannot be shaken. If we have built our lives on the rock, no worldly storm can bring us down. Those who have built their lives on the rock will begin to pull many from the shifting quicksands of this world.

Keeping Him first in our devotion and affection, seeking first His kingdom in every major decision, is the most important principle in how to build our lives on the Rock. Those who do this have nothing to fear from the times, but they will grow in righteousness, peace and joy. That is the nature of the kingdom.

A Time of Harvest and of Champions

We are now entering the harvest that is the end of the age. The greatest move of God that has ever been is now upon us. The greatest ingathering into the kingdom is just beginning. There has never been anything like it before, and there will not be anything like it again. These are the times that all the righteous of old and even the angels desired to see, and we are here to live in them.

The deep darkness that is now spreading over the people will only make the light appear that much brighter. Just as the greatest prophets arose during the greatest times of Israel’s apostasy, great champions are about to be released throughout the world, preaching the Good News of the coming kingdom. The result will be that the nations will come to the light (see Isa. 60:1-5). Don’t ever forget that the light will ultimately win; the truth will ultimately prevail; and we too will prevail if we walk in His light and His truth.

I was given a series of dreams at the end of 2018 in which I was shown that some lines have been crossed that will have significant consequences, especially for the United States. I will begin to share these in our Word for the Week (future articles). Some of these things may be shocking at first, but we must see them, be prepared for them, and understand that they are "inevitable, right and will be successful." {eoa}

Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben and Sam.

This article originally appeared at elijahlist.com.

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