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God Sent a Savior

God Sent a Savior
By Max Lucado
God has given a son to us.…
His name will be Wonderful Counselor,
Powerful God … Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Every Christmas I read this reminder that came in the mail several years ago:

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.

Christmas cards. Punctuated promises. Phrases filled with the reason we do it all anyway.

He became like us, so we could become like him.

Angels still sing and the star still beckons.

Isaiah 9:6 proclaims, “God has given a son to us. His name will be Wonderful Counselor.”

Powerful God.

Prince of Peace.

The wonder of it all is that…

He loves each one of us like there was only one of us to love.

A Journal Entry from the Heart of an Intercessor

After a time of Personal Worship I began to ask of the Lord.

Lord, what does this day hold for me?

 There are endless possibilities and opportunities that are stretched before you. My ways are not your ways the canopy of opportunities are before you each day. Each day I prepare your way and long for you to inquire of my ways to become thee way. Endless are the roads of each choice and each turn, Endless are the opportunities.

 Lord, what would you say about what opportunities are?

 It is each way of choice you make each path or detour leads to my greater plan for you and the direction in which I desire to direct you according to my purpose. Your choice is you will if you choose your ways over my ways; this is not my Ultimate plan for you. But, you will learn and become pliable even down these roads as well.

 Lord, can we take hold of your Ultimate Plan?

 YES! My Ultimate plan is when your will becomes my will.

Then you will follow in each path and each direction in which I’ve prepared in advance for you. This is My delight for you And You may trust it, full well

 My ways are not your ways.

Come! Inquire of Me!

                                                                    

                                Debbie 4 UnfoldedHearts

Lord, Protect those who Protect Us

In Honor of Memorial Day

Today’s blog comes to us courtesy of  enews from AACC.  First, my thoughts to you. If you or a loved one has served in the arm forces – May I offer to each man and women one huge and sincere Thank You along with a holy hug for your service and honor to our country. While I may never know the extent of your sacrifice I do desire to honor you. Below are a few book resources with a brief excerpt written by men who have either dealt or have had experience with the workings of combat stress and trauma. I hope you find these resources a benefit to both you and your family. Certainly share with those in need or who may be currently serving. 

At this time, more than ever, let us humble ourselves before Almighty God and pray for our country…

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good, but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!’
Billy Graham

 
Combat Stress & Trauma
by Major General, U.S. Army (Retired) Bob Dees

The reality of war is that everyone gets wounded. Some wounds heal rapidly, but some last for a lifetime. Some wounds can be seen. Some wounds are invisible: inside the heart, soul, and spirit of the warrior. These unseen wounds (ranging from mild reintegration issues to severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)) are often the most difficult to heal – they must truly heal from the inside out.”

Our Warriors Today and “Combat Trauma”
by Raymond Kahle

In the Armed Forces the average age of today’s young Americans serving in uniform is 20 and a half years of age; making them about ten months older than their grandfather who would have served in my war. They are high school graduates; are all volunteers; they are brighter and better educated and trained to lead than any soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen, or marines of any other country in history.

“Today’s warrior can use his body like a weapon and his weapon as a part of his body, and he can take a life or save one because he is so remarkably trained. The images of today’s warriors going to inner Faith Services and/or Bible studies are not staged – they’re all real and initiated by these young warriors. When they huddle up in prayer circles before deploying on a mission they’re not preparing to go to play football, they’re going into mortal combat and they know that some of them are liable not to come back – and they do it because they have faith.”

God Speed ~

Debbie 4 Unfolded Hearts

Women God Uses

Please consider this a follow-up to my last post, The 5 Women in the Lineage of Christ in which I mention, The Virgin Mary.  I recently received a devotional with some further insights from Derek Prince Ministries that I want to share with you. Not only do I find this article to be full of truth and inspiring. I believe this is a living word  for many women in this hour.

Excerpt from Article

Derek Prince had some amazing insights on women who responded to the Lord in faith. Listen as he marvels at how Mary, the  mother of our Lord Jesus, gave the go-ahead to God’s plans for her life.

Let me speak for a moment about God’s dependence upon man. To me this is almost frightening. One example that always impresses me is the Virgin Mary.

So far as I understand Scripture, the total plan of human redemption depends on the right response of the Virgin Mary. If she had failed, the whole plan of redemption would never have gone into action. When you think of  what God built on one insignificant little Jewish village maiden, no wonder the Scripture says, “All generations shall call her blessed.”

“I am the Lord servant”, Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” If she had never said those words, as I understand it, there would have  been no salvation. God built everything on the response of that one young Jewish maiden. I think the Scriptures make it clear that it was her response of faith that enabled God to go ahead.

I don’t know that there is any way to give expression to my awe at God depending on one little Jewish woman. And then that makes me think,

 “What is God depending on me for?”

I don’t believe that’s an exception; I belive it’s a principle. God depends on His people and He has limited Himself deliberately in His sovereignty to do only what we will enable Him to do.

 God has a plan for us, and He is abundantly ready and able to implement it. It is our response – our go-ahead – which represents the point of release.

Could this be such an occasion in matters facing you? Could this be the moment God is saying, “Go” and you want to say to the Lord, “Yes, I’ll go! I’ll go ahead! May it be to me as You have said!”

If you are sensing this is your moment of destiny, please pray the following prayer with me:

Dear Lord Jesus, I proclaim the truth of Your Scriptures: that You have plan for me that are for welfare and not for calamity, to give me a future and a hope. I want to step into those plans now by faith. If You are saying, “Go” at this time, my response to You is, “I’ll go ahead.”

I declare this to be my moment of release to You. I release myself into Your hands and into Your plans. May it be to me as You have said. Accomplish Your purposes and plans in my life from this point forward.

5 Women in the Lineage of Christ

The book of Matthew Chapter One supplies us the Genealogy of Jesus Christ.

While this ancestral list may not include everyone, there are five women who are mentioned: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife – Bathsheba and Mary.

Many are most familiar with Mary. This is the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Its interesting, to me, that Mary is most known by and associated with being called, the Virgin Mary. We can read the prophecy of the virgin birth found in Isaiah 7 and it fulfillment in Matthew 1: 22, 23.

I am certain it is for reasons that extend far – beyond the first glimpse of scripture and the birth of Jesus. I like to call it; God’s spiritual reasoning of Redemption. What is Redemption?  Salvation, Deliverance, Rescue, Liberation, Release and Recovery. I think these are all such great descriptive words especially for, women.  Not that we ought to just know them but to experience them.  

  Redemption on so many different levels.

Did you know that Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba were connected with sexual sins; Rahab and Ruth were not Jewish, and Ruth belonged to the Nation of Moab, which had its origin in incest. It’s quite shocking isn’t it? In fact, if this you’re first time ever hearing such a report and you’re trying to wrap your mind around the thought, could this be true ? Could it be possible? Is this factual? Or even scripturally correct?

Decided for yourselves: see Gen. 19:30-37; Duet. 23:3 

Listen, I am not a scholar or do I pretend to be. I would say, I enjoying learning. I am a devoted woman who is deeply in love with my savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. I would even refer to myself, as a Berean. We find Paul stating in the New Testament as he ministered at Berea in Acts 17:11…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

I will surrender to the unction of the Holy Spirit, in my life. Consequently my friends it is under His influence in how we meet.

You may or may not believe this next statement – I find it a discipline to write. OK, so I’m saying, it’s not enjoyable for me to write. I find it can be similar to a chore to some degree. I liken it to ironing. In my early days of marriage I really didn’t care for ironing in fact I avoided it, most days. My mother in law felt the same way except, about dusting. So, we had a deal with each other when we would visit each others home. I would dust when at her house and in return when she would come to visit my husband and me she would do the ironing. In some small way this made the chore a bit more bearable.

Although, I have learned that as I give in to the discipline it didn’t mean I was giving up.

The process of discipline held within it a wisdom and reward of its own.

This process is a lifelong training in our growing, learning and granting all such forms of discipline in order to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. I’m hoping it yields true in this case.  🙂 See Hebrews 12:11

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife – Bathsheba and Mary these women were a part of God’s unique providence in preparing for and bringing the Messiah to His people.

Author, Francine Rives writes a novella on each one of these ladies. Listen to quote from the inside cover of her book, “Five women God chose. Each was faced with extraordinary – even scandalous – challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.”

While I found these books to be enlightening and helpful to strengthen my view of scriptures certainly the best place to start to learn and hear each of these women’s stories is in Scripture itself!       ~      Debbie 4 Unfoldedhearts

Tamar a women of hope

Rahab is a woman of faith.

Ruth is a woman of love.

Bathsheba is a woman who received unlimited grace.

Mary is a woman of obedience.

Francine Rivers

FAB: Feelings, Attitudes, Behavior

I don’t know where your opinion may be when you hear the word “emotions” but what I do realize is that we each can a variety of different views based on our upbringing, experiences, and circumstances alone. So, I visited brainy quotes and pulled up a few of some popular ones on emotions. As you read them ask yourself, which resonate as truth for me?

“I grew up in a culturally radical home, where strong emotions were forbidden.”

Lars von Trier

“I have a women’s body and a child’s emotions.”

Elizabeth Taylor

“Whether we like it or not, men and women are not the same in nature, temperament, emotions and emotional responses.”

Paul Getty

Well, I don’t know where your view may be in any of these quotes but what I do hope to offer you is a rational understanding of our three primary emotions. Love, Anger and Fear answering the questions; What do each of these emotions have in common? and Which truly are opposite?

To help us understand these emotions let’s think about “color.” The color you might find in a digital printer. The cartridge contains three primary colors red, yellow and blue and when you add black to these colors you get a full assortment of colors. The same is true with these emotions while they remain primary they are also under a vast range of emotions or what one would call feelings.

What do love, anger and fear have in common?

They each have movement. Love is the greatest force on earth! It is movement towards someone or something. We want to be with it, there is a desire that is present that seems to draws us to it. This is such a great time of year to plan BBQ with our friends or neighbors. Join in on sporting events. Or attend a family reunion. We will go to great distances and lengths to be with those we love. Once I feel the first hint of warmth in the air, I announce to my husband, John, we need to go golfing! 

Anger

Many think anger is the opposite of love, it is not. Anger has movement in the same direction as love but with force. Let me clarify I am not talking about a hatred or violence here. When we read in scripture, “be angry and sin not” it is stating that anger in and of itself is not a sin. On the other hand, the bible has a lot to say about violence and how wrong and sinful that is. I am referring to a type of anger in which there is a passion present because you do care for someone and something. For instance, you might see this displayed toward the person choosing not to attend the family reunion. 🙂 

A healthy anger always moves toward forgiveness.

We also need our anger to enforce our boundaries, morals and injustices.  You may feel this when you see a hungry child or view a wounded or stay animal. Maybe you’ve had the misfortune of having a personal belonging either stolen or threatened to be taken from you. Our anger becomes unhealthy, when we seek to use it for revenge.

Fear is the opposite of love.

Because none of us can love perfectly we fear. Even if you have any mixture of fear or even perceived fear we will move away. Fear generally has a focus, its concrete. I can tell you what I’m afraid of? Fear of public speaking, fear of snakes. The list can be endless.

The good news is the more we love the less we fear. I read this statement on a friends post, To love deeply, brings strength…to be loved deeply, courage. It’s simply stated yet incredibly profound. Personally, I feel the gravity of my courage being testing each time I read this quote knowing it will require me to risk courage to make a lasting and loving connection.

 Scripture Reference

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thess. 3:5

Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Eph 4:26

Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Ps.4:4   

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

*Notes adapted from the Courageous Living series from AACC 

God’s EXTRAVAGANT, Outrageous Love for YOU

http://youtu.be/fayxh8Uqes0

Hello world!

I think World deserves to be bold – don’t you! Hello, World is a bold statement and proclamation for that matter. Let’s just see and yes I’m saying that with a bit of scepticism how I might reach the world?

Unfolded Hearts