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Kata-Kata Gaul (1).pngFour hundred fifty-eight; the number of Bible verses containing a version of the word “faith”. Scrolling down the list, I notice three action verbs reappear consistently. Walk. Serve. Obey.

Walk faithfully. Serve faithfully. Obey faithfully.

Simple words, but not as simply lived. Sometimes the pressures of work and family life seem to squeeze out time for faithful living. We race from one event to the next, our children strapped in car seats during the shuffle between dance lessons, team events and church obligations. Bending our heads for an obligatory dinnertime prayer will need to suffice for  today’s time of quiet rest in His presence. Or, maybe for the week.

Walk faithfully. Serve faithfully. Obey faithfully.

Our holy resumes gathers titles and accomplishments...but we lose we sight of the One we're serving.#seekfirst#loveGod#loveothers Click To Tweet

We feel compelled to join committees, causes, and councils. Our holy resume gathers titles and accomplishments, but how often do we lose sight of the One we’re serving in the midst of all the doing?

Instead of filling up on Christ, we moan about overcrowded schedules as our spiritual wells run as dry as the desert during a drought. All along, the life-giving Fountain waits to flow in us and through us; our bodies weary of frenzy and our souls aching for the refreshing nourishment He provides.

Instead of filling up on God...our spiritual wells run dry.#fountainoflife#noneedtothirst Click To Tweet

The Psalmist understood. He penned these words about his own experience.

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

-Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

 

This world, this culture, this high-demand-you-can-do-it-all system will lead us into the wilderness places if we allow frenzied living. I’ve been there. Have you?

I don’t believe this is God’s best for us.

...when we settle into His heavenly company, He will bless our surrendered hearts.#faithfulliving#intentionalliving#lovingGod Click To Tweet

While we attempt to check off  today’s to-do list, the Father invites us to into His presence. And when we settle into His heavenly company,  He will equip us for our assignments and bless our surrendered hearts. In Him and through Him, our thirst will be quenched and our spirits renewed.

Today, may you and I walk faithfully. Serve faithfully. Obey faithfully.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeePurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojedaDance with Jesus

 

 

 

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Hello, friends! Welcome to this Thursday’s post. I’m taking a short break from our current series, ‘If You’re Not Happy and You Know It’ to introduce you to my friend, author Debbie Kitterman.

The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement, Debbie’s newest book, stretched and stirred both my faith and understanding of the Holy Spirit.  Whether you’re a conservative evangelical Christian longing to know more about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit or a Foursquare Christ follower already certain that prophecy exists for the church today, Debbie will invite you into a deeper relationship with Jesus. 

To be entered in a drawing for a complimentary signed copy of Debbie’s book, please share a comment with the group.

Peace and grace,                                                                                                                                      Tammy 

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 The evening teaching session had ended when the women’s ministry leader asked if I would spend a little time doing ministry.  As I was looking out into the audience this young girl caught my attention.  When I looked at her, I saw a picture of her standing at volleyball net. So, I asked her if she played volleyball.

Immediately, she snapped “NO! I don’t play volleyball.”

“Are you sure,” I asked?  I went on to explain, “when I looked at you I saw a picture of you standing at a volleyball net.”

“Nope, I don’t play volleyball, you’ve got the wrong person.” She responded as she folded her arms across her chest.

“Oh, ok. “Well, I guess that picture wasn’t for you. Do you mind if I still pray for you?” I asked.

She responded by shaking her head no and I moved on to minister to the next person.  I didn’t have time to really process it during the moment, because I still needed to minister to others. Later that night, I went to bed thinking about the young girl and the clear picture I had seen.

The next morning at breakfast, a group of ladies asked me to sit with them. Upon sitting down, one of them leaned in and whispered, “The girl last night – the one you asked if she played volleyball.  She plays every Friday night.”

What?!? I wanted to shout but instead, I turned my head, so I could look her in the eye and asked, “How do you know this?”  The lady went on to explain in a whisper that she was the young girl’s mother and she wanted to apologize for her daughter. She was sorry she had lied about playing volleyball.  She went on to explain her daughter was afraid and embarrassed to admit playing volleyball because she wasn’t sure what else I might “know.” I asked where her daughter was and if she would be willing to talk to me.  I assured her I didn’t know anything other than she played volleyball.  I explained, it was one of the ways God likes to encourage others. God wanted the daughter to know He was real and He knew exactly who she was.

This is why I wrote the book, The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement.

PE What Authentic Relationship Is

There is a lot of misunderstanding around the gift of prophetic encouragement and because of that it scares people or makes them uncomfortable. I get it.  There has also been some misuse of this gift too.  However, the spiritual gift of prophecy is to be approachable!  Jesus was approachable, and we are to be approachable too. Everyone needs encouragement.

The daughter agreed to talk with me and as I sat with her and her mom, I explained that God was only trying to encourage her.  Because she later let me pray over her, I know why God showed me the picture of volleyball.  He really did want her to know He knew her.  Why?  Because she doubted that anyone saw her.  She felt overlooked and inconsequential.  However, God wanted her to know that was not the case.  There are several Scriptures that spoke truth straight to the lies she was believing.  God had me share them with her that day and I challenged her to find more truths in God’s Word.  One promise I shared say was:

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…” (Genesis 28:15a NIV) 

The message to her that day, and to all of us is: “God Sees You!” Paul talks about the gift of prophetic encouragement is in 1 Corinthians 14:  It’s purpose is clear.  To encourage, comfort, and strengthen those who hear and receive it. And, it’s for ALL!  This is a gift, that Paul tells us to eagerly desire.  It is a necessary gift.  It is a gift that can change the world and atmosphere around us.

Buy “The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement” here: https://amzn.to/2N3wcPO

To get Pre-order Bonuses go here: http://debbiekitterman.com/gift-of-prophetic-encouragement/

About The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for Others

“The gift of prophetic encouragement is a necessary gift, one that the Church is in great need of during these last days.”—from the foreword by Wayne Cordeiro, president, New Hope Christian College; author, The Divine Mentor

The book clears away the confusion about the prophetic gift today, pastor and ministry leader Debbie Kitterman reveals the good news about the gift of prophecy in this practical, powerful book: We are all prophetic because we all have direct access to God. Prophecy is an ordinary part of the Christian life. In fact, it is God’s way for us to encourage and strengthen the Body of Christ.

So, open your ears to hear God and break out of your comfort zone to deliver His messages to those who need them most. Act now—His words can’t wait!

Prophetic Encouragement is Full of powerful testimonies and practical application, this book will help you break out of your comfort zone and embrace a lifestyle of encouraging others–just as Jesus did. You will learn how to deepen your relationship with God, open a direct line of communication with him, and share his words with others.

 The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement  is completely unique in challenging believers to be the gift of encouragement others need today.  This book is written to give an interactive experience. Here are the book’s features:

  • Teaching on the gift of prophetic encouragement
  • Activation Prayers and Activation Exercises to take you deeper.
  • Testimonies that will build your faith and increase your boldness.
  • A profound foreword by Wayne Corderio
  • Chapter questions for personal study or discussion

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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com

Follow Debbie Kitterman

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From crowded rooms to solitary hide-a-ways, loneliness exists outside the boundaries of place or circumstance. It invades the space of married couples…singles…young and old. And, loneliness? It has the power to drive us toward relationship or introduce lies into the vulnerable places of our hearts.

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If we aren’t intentional our in loneliness, we can be taken captive–seduced into believing that we are utterly alone. Have you been there, Friend? Has this lie lodged itself into the corners of your heart?

Perhaps it was birthed in the ruins of a fractured relationship or marriage. Maybe the pain of untruth took root when your prayers seemed to go unanswered. Is it possible you even feel you deserve loneliness—that your internal ache for something more stems from just being you?

Daughter of Christ, if you are hard-worn by loneliness right now, remember–there is Someone who is always with you. He knew you from your beginning. He knows the day of your last breath. And, He walks with you each step between now and forever.

This is the truth in which we can intentionally rest.

And, for those who know the lonely one? We can pray…love…and–with intentionality–remind her of Christ’s steadfast commitment to His children.

Won’t you join me today by reaching out to someone burdened by loneliness? Share your story with us.

Scripture for Reflection

I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! I will not leave you orphaned. (John 14:16-18 MSG)

 

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wheat fields

The arid prairie stretches to the horizon–it’s tanned face lined and creased–pulling away from itself because of the summer heat. And I’m reminded of my grandfather’s face. A farmer accustomed to toiling in the heat of the day, he was a man who enjoyed the feel of the earth sifting through his fingers.

And those grooves in  Grandpa’s face? They were the tell-tale signs of someone immersed in the day-to-day trials, frustrations, and pleasures of watching something nearly invisible grow into a gold-stemmed  life-giver.

I wonder…What sort of story does my face tell? Do the creases around my eyes convey joy? Are the lines around my mouth visible reminders of a mother impatiently pursing her lips or a woman smiling at the sight of her tousled children?

Even more–do I bear the likeness of Christ? If you were to talk with me or meet me for coffee, would you see that Christ has poured himself into my heart?  Is His love and compassion etched deeply enough in my life that you might notice Him?

 If only the day-to-day trials, frustrations, and pleasures of marriage and motherhood will leave spirit-impressions!  One day, maybe you’ll notice those  as much I noticed the creases in Grandpa’s face.

Scripture for Reflection

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

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riverIt was on odd, perfunctory ending to what had been an opportunity for reconciliation and restoration.  After years of dysfunction, I had hoped for more from our relationship.  More understanding.  More normalcy.  More love.

Sometimes, though, healing is slow…laborious…painful.  It’s like the scar I bear on the soft underside of my foot where the sharp edge of glass penetrated deep beneath the surface years ago–severing tendons and limiting movement.  Now, all that seems to remain of the injury is a rough, jagged line drawn tightly across the skin.

Heart wounds sometimes heal in the same way.  Open, festering hurts diminish with time.  The balm of forgiveness and gentle doctoring of the Holy Spirit soothes the pain, confusion, and fear.  But–the scar still exists.

Maybe the scar remains for a purpose.  Maybe, just maybe, the scar reminds me of the One who can and will heal all–if not today, perhaps tomorrow; if not here, then on the other side of heaven.

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When I was a young woman–still in highschool–a beloved lady in my life accused, “You’re getting to be a fanatic.”

I hadn’t joined a group of extremists.  I didn’t  lock myself to a chainlink fence and protest nuclear weapons.  I didn’t even promote a political community.  What had I done?  I chose Jesus.  Really?  No–He chose me.  Even me.

Jesus didn’t mind my messy life.  Like a tender father bending down to dust off his daughter’s knees when she’d fallen from her bike, Jesus picked me up.  I love you.  And I fell in love with Him, too.

At the time, my feelings were pricked.  Fanatic.

Now?  At least this dear woman saw something different in me.  Could it be  Christ had begun his transformation in my life?  Did I talk about my First Love too often?  I’m not certain.

I haven’t been called a fanatic for years, but I might not mind.  These days people call it radical Christianity.

So…how do I live radically for Jesus?   Do I sell all of my posessions to feed the poor?  Do I beat my chest at the sin hiddend behind the walls of the “dance club” or sign a petition to protect an innocent life?  Maybe.  Those could be good things…important things.

But, maybe living radically where I am means serving my family with a servant’s heart.  Maybe living radically where I am means loving that critical person I had trusted before.  Maybe living radically where I am means trusting God with my children.  Maybe living radically where I am means still loving Jesus.

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My dear son (daughter),

I am taking a chance and hoping you will set aside your anger long enough to read this letter.  Honey, I know you feel like I keep hounding for things you are doing.  Please, try to understand that I would never put you through any kind of pain if I believed there were an alternative.  Instead, I want to spare you from long-term hurt and pain in your life because of foolish or immature decisions.

In my heart, I pray my concerns are unfounded.  Given some of your previous experiences, though, I felt it necessary to protect you—even if that means I have to suffer your disdain and anger.  The anguish I am currently feeling is only surpassed by my love for you.

Please know there is nothing you can ever say or do to make me love you less.  You are, and always will be, a special treasure in my life.  You may not believe it, my son (daughter), but I am your champion.  I believe in you and see such potential just waiting to be tapped.  If you will seek the Lord, I believe He will do amazing things through you to impact the lives of others—I trust you are going to make a difference in this world!

Even before you were born, your dad and I prayed God would claim you as His own child; that He would protect you; and that you would recognize Him as not just your Savior but also the Lord of your life.  My precious boy (girl), I urge you to renew your commitment to Christ.  Turn back to what you know as true before the Holy Spirit has been quenched and your heart is unwilling.

Trust in the love your dad and I have for you.  Above all, trust in the one who formed you and knew you before Creation.

Your loving mother,

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

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