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DREAMS: On time, every time!

Daniel 1:17
God gave them knowledge and skill in all kinds of literature and wisdom; Daniel also understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
I adore Max Lucado. In fact I’ve read so many of his books and devotions over the years that I used to refer to him as my home pastor. It was because of my love for Max that my dear sister in law purchased a Max Lucado Bible for my birthday. I love it! I was taking a financial class soon after and every verse we covered in the financial class I circled in my new Bible.
John, my husband, is a pinnacle part of this story. Well, next to Jesus that is. John is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. His mother tells a story that when he was a child on the playground he would constantly bring new children to her and say, “meet my new friend.” John is also an avid hunter and fisherman. He will spend every last free moment thinking, preparing, or inviting others to join him in either of these two sports. It’s OK too if you’ve never fished or hunted. He will eagerly train you along the way; your interest is incentive enough to impart the skills, as far as he sees it.
This story starts a few years back during the fall season John was preparing for the hunting season and stopped off at the local sporting goods store. While in the shotgun shell aisle a gentleman ask him a question regarding the merchandise. John lit up with enthusiasm as they shared about sports. John helped him greatly according to Bert (that was his name) so he thanked him. Bert thought John worked at the sporting goods store. We all laugh about that, now. There’s one other thing I forgot to mention John’s known for: being a fisher of men, with effective evangelism! He invited Bert to church and both Bert and his wife Wendy attended. Bert received his salvation. Big God, small world.
From the time John met Bert in-between him coming to church, I had a dream.
In this dream, I had my Max Lucado Bible. I was standing at the back of the church next to the sound booth holding the Bible in hand with both arms folded close to my chest. In the dream, Bert had been baptized that day. People gathered around hugging and congratulating him for his decision as well as welcoming him to the family of faith. I felt the silent unction as only the Holy Spirit could, to give Bert the Bible as a baptism gift. I recall initially thinking, “Ugh! My Max Lucado Bible?” I wanted to pretend I didn’t hear that, right? I recently received it only a few months ago and I wasn’t certain if my sister in law would be upset if she found out I gave it away. Yet, I felt the heart of God towards Bert. I couldn’t reject the unction. These were my thoughts and feelings in my dream.
It was a clear and vivid dream.
A few months later, John informed me that Bert had made a decision to be baptized that following Sunday and He wanted us to be there! I recalled my dream as it was hard not to. I phoned my dear sister in law and humbly explained I felt the Lord wanted me to give Bert the Bible as a gift, but assured her I appreciated her thoughtfulness and she made the right decision in giving it to me. She was gracious, releasing me to do as I wish.
When the day of Bert’s baptism arrived it was a wonderful witness of a life turned for Christ and how we too as vessels can be used for a greater honor. Wendy was shaking with the new of the unknown as well as the power of grace that was upon her. It was a celebration indeed! After Bert and Wendy had hugged each other and their family members as well as church members that were present I approached Bert and offered him the Bible as a gift. It wasn’t in the back of the church like in the dream, but it was a holy moment. I explained I had I felt the Lord gave me a dream asking me to give him the Bible. I also told him that all the verses that he would come across that were circled were from the Crown Financial class. He was grinning the whole time I was sharing with him. He told me his family was very wealthy back home and that they were not including him because of a feud. I was surprised as it was the first I had heard of any of this story of his past. In fact, no one but God had any knowledge of that information. Bert thanked me, filled with joy and peace.
God knew Bert. He knew he would need the heart of his Heavenly Father engulfed in his watchful care, he would need Max Lucado’s pastoral insightful wisdom scattered throughout the Word of God and the financial verses marked as preparation so that he could overcome. If God is for us, who can be against us.
Still to this day, from time to time, my husband will share a text he’s received from Bert stating: please, tell your wife, thank you for the Bible and how much he appreciates it and is grateful to have it. John recently told me that Bert tells everyone about how he received the Bible and how much He loves it!!!
It reminds me of Psalms 16:7 how the Lord counsels and instructs us in the night. I praise the Lord, for His night counsel.
Hearing Bert share his gratitude and love for the Bible is a dream come true for me.
Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry
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Vision During Worship 7/17/17

Jesus-walking

Jesus came walking among us…I could see His feet, His steps, ankles and the hem of His garment. A steady wind was blowing against His garment. He walked with intention, carrying purpose and authority.

As I saw the hem of His garment I had the thought He was present for those who needed healing. Then I heard these words: “by patience and faithfulness the promises are fulfilled.” Following the words, the understanding came. He was inviting me-all- that if we would reach out and touch the hem of His garment we could now ask for the fulfillment of the promises we have been believing for. Healing, yes, but far beyond that. Every promise!

Now, in His presence, ask for the fulfillment of His promise, in Jesus Name!

In Jesus we hear a resounding “yes” to all of God’s many promises. This is the reason we say “Amen” to and through Jesus when giving glory to God.

2 Corinthians 1:20

John’s proclamation fulfilled a promise made by the ancient prophet Isaiah, who had said, “There will be a voice calling from the desert, saying, Prepare the road for the Eternal One’s journey; repair and straighten out every mile of our God’s highway.” Matthew 3:3

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

In a vision, I saw myself. I was wearing an apron serving the Lord. I thought, inside the vision, “Oh! I’m serving the body of Christ spiritual food, as I serve in the natural, Is that right, Lord?”

Then the apron changed. It looked as though it was a butcher’s apron. I heard “preparing” He brought the interpretation, that during my times of worship, intercession & prayers, I am preparing sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of others, the church, even Nations.

Then the apron changed-this time to a baker’s apron. I heard “prepare.” I saw myself as I was preparing pastry dough of sorts, before others, for baking. In this vision – I understood while in my baker’s apron the Lord was preparing me…to RISE.

Yet, again I saw myself in another white apron. This one had an embroidered tag marked at the top right simply titled “aprons.” I was wearing it proudly walking in the church. I believe now this is a protective type covering. I recall, in the vision, thinking I don’t know that I would feel proud to be wearing an apron walking through church on any given Sunday. But it was the Lord, in me, telling me He was proud of me as I serve the body in preparation, sacrifices and offerings. The “apron marking” was an anointing producing title He had given me that I might know that He would send others that I would help in their need to prepare for their own unique celebration and offerings before the Lord.

Acts 10:10

…but he soon grew hungry. While his lunch was being prepared, Peter had a vision of his own—a vision that linked his present hunger with what was about to happen:

1 Peter 1:13

So get yourselves ready, prepare your minds to act, control yourselves, and look forward in hope as you focus on the grace that comes when Jesus the Anointed returns and is completely revealed to you.

Blessings ~

Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry 

Mother’s Day

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is called blessed among all women, and rightfully so! Let’s take a closer look at Mary‘s life so that we might glean from the actions and attributes of the one who received such a noteworthy call.

No other person was as close to Jesus than Mary, His mother. Could you imagine?

   Actions:

  • When the Angel Gabriel appeared to her announcing she would give birth, Mary responds with maturity at her young age. She understood the scriptures, and it showed by her willingness to obey. (Luke 1:26-38)
  • Mary nurtured Jesus into manhood; in turn we are to nurture our children in the way of the Lord. (Luke 2:51,52; Eph. 6:4)

Attributes:

  • Nature of Purity and Holiness
  • Faithful Wife and Mother
  • Showed Courage & Strength to remain at Crucifixion (John 19:25-27)
  • Prayed in the Upper Room for a new coming of Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14)
  • Song of Praise (Luke 1:46-55)

The passage from chapter two of the Book of John is common to most of us as the first miracle performed by Jesus. It’s perhaps less familiar to think about Mary communicating as a parent to Jesus. While this may be a new concept as you read the scripture, allow yourself to focus on the details of Mary rather than Jesus alone, just this once. In other words, put yourself in Mary’s sandals.

I selected the Voice Version for this passage in hopes to gain understanding as we focus on what Mary says to her adult son. Let’s see how these attributes are played out for parental guidance.

Wedding Feast
John 2:1-12
Voice Version

Three days later, they all went to celebrate a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was invited together with Him and His disciples. While they were celebrating, the wine ran out; and Jesus’ mother hurried over to her son.
Mary: The host stands on the brink of embarrassment; there are many guests, and there is no more wine.
Jesus: Dear woman, is it our problem they miscalculated when buying wine and inviting guests? My time has not arrived.
But she turned to the servants.
Mary: Do whatever my son tells you.
In that area were six massive stone water pots that could each hold 20 to 30 gallons. They were typically used for Jewish purification rites. 7 Jesus’ instructions were clear:
Jesus: Fill each water pot with water until it’s ready to spill over the top; 8 then fill a cup, and deliver it to the headwaiter.
They did exactly as they were instructed. 9 After tasting the water that had become wine, the headwaiter couldn’t figure out where such wine came from (even though the servants knew), and he called over the bridegroom in amazement.
Headwaiter: This wine is delectable. Why would you save the most exquisite fruit of the vine? A host would generally serve the good wine first and, when his inebriated guests don’t notice or care, he would serve the inferior wine. You have held back the best for last.
11 Jesus performed this miracle, the first of His signs, in Cana of Galilee. They did not know how this happened; but when the disciples and the servants witnessed this miracle, their faith blossomed.
With a wedding as the setting of Jesus’ first sign, John shows how Jesus’ ministry isn’t limited to just “spiritual” things, but is His blessing for all of life.
12 Jesus then gathered His clan—His family members and disciples—for a journey to Capernaum where they lingered several days.

Mary knew her son had potential of a higher calling than what was evident in the world. Mary was a voice in her parenting: she saw it was time and that Jesus was ready to step into His calling.

She exhibited confidence in His given abilities. As a voice in parenting we are to speak of potential and praise to our children, helping them understand their identity and purpose well into their adulthood.

Outcome

Jesus’ demonstration miracle was a sign to all attending as far as the surrounding villages. The community now understood Jesus’ identity and purpose, perhaps not fully, as much more understanding was to unfold. Yet I do believe Mary knew this was the time in which it would be revealed.

The same is true for your children, my children: simply stated, if its God’s purposed role for our children they will rule in the community in which He leads. Others will take notice, not solely of the son or daughter but of the display of God’s goodness and glory through their lives. As God manifests His favor and grace may we be faithful to help point others to Him.

Lastly, we see an exchange of endearment in the end, as Jesus tenderly placed His mother in the care of John before He died.

May you be assured of the knowledge that God created you, your spouse and children with purpose to shine forth the glory of God. Through every season and circumstance hold fast to the faithfulness of His promises.

Blessings,
Deborah Somjak for Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Psalm 139:16-18 Voice
You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!
How grand in scope! How many in number!
If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!

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The Lord spoke this word to me last week

The Blood is both the dissolver & the resolver

The Garden of Gethsemane

Personal photos taken in Jerusalem of March 2017.

Top photo: Current Day-Garden.

Below photo: from a Historical Museum picture of  a heel-bone from a Crucifixion. 

As Jesus began his most personal and profound prayer, knowing of the betrayal and agony set before Him as an intense physical, emotional and spiritual battle was at hand, He prayed. He prayed inviting others to join him.

 

Matthew 26:36-46 Amplified

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”

And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”

As I read the above verses from a distance, my heart is all in and for my Jesus. I find myself pressing my ear to this passage listening to the pleas He repeatedly makes to both His Father and disciples. I’m listening to learn lessons and instructions, in prayer, as He is leading His disciples to follow; for us to follow. I feel as I am there in the garden, a disciple, near to Him watching Him pray, desiring to ease His pleas and ask, “Lord, teach me to join You in prayer.”

  • We know Jesus prayed: constantly– day, night, alone, with others, before working miracles. We read here He kept returning three-times to pray. His prayer was not repetitious, but continual.
  • It seems that the Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite private place to prayer because John 18:2 says, “Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”
  • Jesus prayed out of a deep and honoring love relationship calling God “Father.” We are commanded to do the same in Matt 6:9.
  • Prayer is not always smooth, as it requires focus especially when experiencing intense emotions, physical pain, and spiritual warfare. It requires more from us when we seemingly are at our weakest. When we come before Him, with humility, at the foot of the cross, we can ask for strength to aid us, in the will of the Lord.
  • Verse 41, Jesus address’ the disciples: Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus knew the power of temptation: He shares of His own distress and grieved soul.

Actively = deliberate, positive, energetic, vigorous way.

Watching = give strict attention to, be cautions, active.

Praying = to offer prayers, to pray.

 

Pray, dear one, pray to your Father…..

 

Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.

Leonard Ravenhill

When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself – a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,…and throws himself into the arms of God…then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus defeated satan in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary!

Francis Frangipane

This is the centre of the gospel – this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about – that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near.

John Piper

EM Bounds

How difficult it appears to be for the Church to understand that the whole scheme of redemption depends upon men of prayers The work of our Lord, while here on the earth, as well of the Apostle Paul was, by teaching and example, to develop men of prayer, to whom the future of the Church should be committed. How strange that instead of learning this simple and all important lesson, the modern Church has largely overlooked it. We have need to turn afresh to that wondrous Leader of spiritual Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, who by example and precept enjoins us to prayer and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who by virtue of his praying habits and prayer lessons is a model and an example to God’s people in every age and clime.

Deborah  4-Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Courage

Hello friends,
This is David, pictured above. He was our Tour Guide during our recent 10 day trip to Israel. As we were traveling on foot from one site to the next, David suddenly stopped us on the side of the road. He began to explain that the battered bus pictured, is used to pick up the Jewish children every day for school; yet others in their surrounding area yell and throw rocks at them. He went on to say, this doesn’t stop the children or affect them from accomplishing their rightful place in the land and receiving an education. This picture has become a notable moment in my walk in the Holy Land. At our return the Lord etched this experience of courage by solidifying it in my spirit through His Word.

Let me explain: during a study I was completing by Stephen De Silva, it lead me directly to the words of Paul in Acts 20:22-24: And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The profound question De Silva was asking in his study is, “What are you bound to?” Could you answer that? He further went on to say: whatever we are bound to, is where we will find our strength to persevere in the face of the enemy’s schemes.

And we know, the enemy has schemes and sabotages, that often times sound like, toil, fear, or threats yet our God has a remedy, Courage.

4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry ~ Deborah Somjak

You can listen to this specific yet short message described, at link below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/debbie-somjak/2017/03/24/courage

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and brave, and don’t tremble in fear of them, because the Eternal your God is going with you. He’ll never fail you or abandon you!