October 30, 2018

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Thought to share: Stop fighting life’s battles with your words. Stop attacking injustice with your reasoning. Stop coming against darkness with your weapons. You have chosen to fight some battles that are not yours to fight. You have chosen to fight necessary battles incorrectly with human tactics. It is not your responsibility to change the human mind or give them the correct perspective. Lay down your weapons and step into MY war room. Engage in battle through praise. Use the sword of the Spirit to piece the heavenlies. Your battle cry is MY Word – not yours.  The hearts of men are changed by MY Spirit and you partner with ME in this through prayer.  When you war MY way, the climate will shift and change will come. When you war MY way, I protect your heart and mind. Suit up and fight with ME.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (TPT)  Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser!  Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious. Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One! Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.

 

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June 5, 2018

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Thought to share: When MY children approach ME, I always welcome them. I always listen to every word they say. And I always respond to their prayers. But, it will always be in MY time and in MY way. It will always be according to MY will – MY perfect design for your life. So ask ME for anything and everything. Seek MY heart on the matter. And knock down any obstacles in your path with Truth. You will always receive. Always find. Always have the door opened for you.

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

1John 5:14-15  (NLT) And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT) Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

The love of my life.

In case you haven’t met the love of my life, this is my husband Bill.

Bill Wahl37979_484813072728_1749468_n1914616_1242088772487_846870_nBill Wahl5

On August 1st, we celebrated 30 years of marriage. And, I want to tell you, this man has my heart. Every. Single. Piece.

We met at Lee University (then college) in 1986. One look at that face and I was hooked. Handsome. Funny. Intelligent. Interesting. Engaging. Kind. Confident. Transparent (yes, even then). It didn’t take long for me to fall head-over-heels in love with this man.

We spent every waking hour together. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day in the cafeteria. That means I got up early every day in order to eat breakfast. Even before that 8am class. Y’all don’t even understand what that means. I’m not a morning person. I come by it honest as it’s genetically woven into my DNA. And, I seldom want food in the morning. But, every day I met him for breakfast, just to be near him one more time. And, I ate lunch and dinner even if I wasn’t hungry.

He walked me to every class; he met me at the end of every class. We even had some classes together. (You can arrange that when you meet during freshman orientation, which was the week before registration. In hind sight – that was risky! Glad it worked out, otherwise I would have had to drop a class or two.)

We studied together in the library, hung out in the Student Center, and arranged to have our Chapel Seats next to each other. We stood in front of my dorm until curfew at night talking and talking. And, if we’d had cell phones then, I’m sure we would have kept talking into the night, falling asleep on the phone.

When my parents called to check on me, all I could talk about was Bill. What he said. What he did. What he thought. What I thought about what Bill said. What I thought about what Bill did. What I thought about what he thought.

It was all I could talk about to anybody. If I was not with him, I was talking about him to anyone who would listen.

We spent so much time together, that both of the best friends I went to college with were annoyed. My cousin, who was also on campus, was concerned. They all wondered if I had lost my mind because we were inseparable. This was unlike me. But, I couldn’t help myself. He was like a magnet, and I could not resist. I was hooked. This man amazed me. Fascinated me. Intrigued me.

I hung on every word he said. I wanted to know what he thought about everything. I wanted to hear about his life. His past. His hopes. His dreams. His plans. His opinions. Every detail. And, I wanted to tell him every thought in my head. Every feeling I felt. I wanted to share past, present, and future with him.

Once I saw him, no one had to convince me to talk with him. My normally shy and reserved self lost all in-habitations. I actually approached him first to invite him to play a meet-n-greet game.

Once I spoke with him, no one needed to encourage me to spend time with him. I took advantage of every opportunity. I created opportunities.

Once I spent time with him, I didn’t need reminders to get up for breakfast. Despite my disdain for early mornings, I didn’t need to be coaxed out of bed. I was up early and ready to go.

I looked forward to spending time with him. I looked forward to being with him. I looked forward to hearing his voice.

Meeting him changed my life. It changed the way I lived. It changed the plans I’d made for the future. It changed everything.

As intense as this sounds, I feel like this is what our relationship with Jesus is supposed to look like.

I feel like we are supposed to be so captivated by Him, that we want to spend every waking hour with Him. So eager to be with Him, that we willingly get up early to see Him – even if we are not morning people. So in love, we willingly plan our day around Him because we want to do everything with Him.

So enthralled that we talk with Him non-stop, hanging on every word He says. Wanting to discover what He thinks about everything. What He wants. What His plans are. Telling Him everything in our heart. Every feeling. Sharing every experience with Him.

So fascinated that we talk about Him non-stop, telling everyone what He said. What He did. What we think and feel about what He said and did. He’s so ingrained in our conversations, that everyone knows we’ll talk about Him given the slightest opportunity. That we’ll create opportunities. That we will work Him into every conversation. That we will just boldly bring Him up.

To be so consumed with Him that others wonder if we’ve lost our mind. That the magnetic pull He has on us is evident to the casual observer. That we radiate with love for Him.

To be so in love that no one ever has to convince us to talk to Him. No one has to give us a list of reasons why we should have conversations with Him.

So enamored that no one has to encourage us to spend time with Him. No one has to sell us on the features and benefits of spending time with Him.

So engrossed with our relationship with Him that we don’t forget days on end that He’s in the room with us.

I think this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37 that we ‘….must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ In other words, loving Him with everything. Being so consumed by Him that it changes everything about the way we live, the way we think, the way we speak and the choices we make. That connection to Him becomes our number one priority – overshadowing everything else. That He alone becomes our everything. The One who completes us. The One who fills us. The One we crave.

Yes, that sounds intense. And, it is. But this is what we were created for. Intimate, deep, soul-absorbing, mind-blowing, life-giving, earth-shattering relationship with the One who created us. It’s so much more than we think it is.

Anything less is not enough. Anything less leaves me wondering………

So, this is what I’m working towards. This is how I want to live – with such an awareness of Him that every thought and feeling is shaped by His Presence and His voice. That I’m driven to connect with Him continually. That I am completely absorbed by Him. Engrossed in the relationship. I want my continual response to be Psalm 27:8 (NLT) My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

 

ps – to clarify. Abba loves the way I love the man He gave to me as a life partner. He is thrilled that Bill has my complete heart and utter devotion. He is please that Bill is the love of my life. It’s the way He planned it. And, He is also pleased that I realize Bill is a gift to me from Him. Abba gave Bill to me (and me to Bill) to complement, support and partner with. Bill does not complete me. I do not need Bill. I want Bill, I want him every step of the journey, I enjoy him – but I do not need him. I need Jesus.  I can’t survive without Him.  

So thankful I get to do the journey into the heart of Jesus with this man. xxoo 

Bill & Kim

One more for funsies. This is a pic of the first time I saw Bill’s face. (there’s a story behind that) A friend took a picture of me watching him. Beside me are the two besties (Jennifer & Melissa) and cousin (Sonya), watching the whole thing unfold. Sigh……

finding Bill

June 27, 2017

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Thought to share: when you talk to ME, I listen. When you invite ME in, I come. When you ask ME to help, I do. When you give ME permission to do all I have planned, I answer. You cannot talk with ME and something NOT happen. Without fail, I respond to your heart cries. Faithfully, I meet you where you’re at. Ask ME to open the eyes of your heart so you can see ME in action.

1John 5:14-15 (NIV) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 (Msg) Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.

Unity

Unity. Of all the things He could have prayed for, Jesus cried out to the Father for unity. As He prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus bowed His heart before the Father and interceded for us. In John 17:20-23 (NLT) we hear Him say: I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as We are one.  I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that you love them as much as you love Me.

His heart desired unity. He prayed that you and I, His followers, would be one. He longed for us to be unified, like He and the Father are. His plan is that His Body would function as a single unit, united by His heart and His desires, moving and flowing in solidarity in Him and through Him.

Jesus prayed for our unity because He knew it would be the key to our success. He knew that the only way we could advance would be to operate as one.  He knew that without unity, it would impossible to accomplish anything. He knew that without unity, His Body would be disjointed and splintered. And, Jesus also knew that in a disjointed and splintered state, we’d be an easy target for the enemy and susceptible to his deceptive strategies.

So what does unity look like? Does unity mean that you agree with me? Or that I agree with you? Or that together we agree with the leader? Does it mean we lay down our opinion to pick up the majority’s? I don’t think so. I believe unity means, we agree with Him. Unity is being on the same page with Abba. And solidarity is evident as together we say what He says, go where He goes and do what He does. We are unified as we live out His plan.

How does this happen? We step into unity as we practice 2Chronicals 7:14 (NLT) Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. Certainly, unity is developed through prayer. But specifically, unity is achieved through humility. Humble prayer. This means we don’t come to Abba with our agenda. We don’t spend our conversations with Him telling Him what we want or what we think. We are not sharing our plan. We are not taking our preconceived notions and opinions into the prayer closet.

Humble prayer means we enter with a heart that says: I do not have any answers. I do not know what is best. I need Your wisdom and guidance. I choose to want what You want. Please tell me what that is.  Then we sit and listen. And, in our silence He reveals His plans. As we leave the prayer closet, we follow His plan with His power.

As we humbly pray, He will reveal His plan. And the plan He reveals to me is the same plan He will reveal to you. If we disagree, one of us is not listening. Therefore, we return to the prayer closet, determined to listen until our heart is unified with His.

Humble prayer positions us for a move of God. Our unity with Him brings us to a place of restoration.

And, living this way will resolve so many issues within the Body of Christ. It would mean that we would stop fighting over everything from the color of our carpet to the type of music we worship to. We’ll no longer bicker over doctrinal differences or how to exegete a particular passage. And we’ll stop squabbling over which political candidate to vote for. (insert eye-roll here)

Which brings me to the point of this post: Abba has a plan. He has already chosen the one He desires to be in office. Shockingly, it may not be the person we think it should be. It may not be the person we identify with politically. It may not be the one we would personally choose. It may be the one we don’t like. But it doesn’t matter what we think or what our political stance is, because the one He has chosen is the perfect one for the job. He knows what we need and He knows what we cannot see. And, if we will humble ourselves in prayer and listen to His heart, He will tell us who to vote for.

It’s not about what I want. It’s not about your opinion. It’s not about what we think. It’s about His divine and perfect plan.

As we lay down our ideologies, opinions, perspective and feelings, we – the Body of Christ – will be a force to be reckoned with. When we have been in humble prayer, as a unified body we’ll exit the prayer closet and enter the voting booth and change the course of our nation.

Now – stop for a moment and think big picture. If we, the Body of Christ are unified, imagine the possibilities! To start, we’ll no longer look foolish to the world. When we say we heard from God, we’ll all be saying and doing the same thing, instead of giving the impression that God is confused or senile. In unity, we’ll powerfully execute the Great Commission with precision, making powerful disciples. We’ll step into the enemy’s territory and put an end to his destructive plans.

As we live in humble prayer, unified under His plan and purpose, we’ll be agents of change. We’ll change our life. We’ll change our families. We’ll change our local church. We’ll change our community. We’ll change our nation. We’ll change the world. This is how we become world-changes – through humble prayer that brings us into unity, enabling us to cohesively move as one.

So, with that, I am telling you who to vote for.

Vote for the one Abba has chosen. Get into your prayer closet and ask Him who that is with all bias aside. Listen. And then vote for that person. Even if they aren’t the one you’d have chosen yourself. This is unity.

And then, let’s live that way. In unity, saying what He says. Going where He goes. Doing what He does.

 

 

If you’d like to hear more on prayer and politics, I recommend this message by my son, Stefan. It will certainly open your eyes and adjust your perspective.

My disappointment with fasting

Before I get started, let me say: I’m not trying to be controversial. I’m not trying to start a debate. I don’t want to offend anyone. And I don’t want to argue. My intent is to share my experience and what I’ve found and possibly get you thinking too.

I want to talk about fasting. I want to question the standard. I want to probe a bit.

For me, the questions and probing started honestly. After years of disappointing fasting experiences, I wanted to really understand what the purpose of fasting was and what it was supposed to accomplish. Because, if my experience was the true experience of fasting – then I was done with fasting. It didn’t seem like anything more than a useless ritual. But – if there really was something to this, then I wanted to find out what I was missing.

And as I probed and questioned, I discovered I had it all wrong. Here’s the three things I learned.

First: Fasting is about FOOD. It’s not about giving up TV or Facebook or secular music or anything else.

Second: Fasting is about ALL food. It’s not about modifying your diet by leaving certain foods or food groups out.

I learned this by looking up the meaning for the word fasting in the Hebrew and Greek. In Hebrew, the word is tsom and the literal translation is “not to eat”. In Greek, fasting is nesteia and it means the voluntary abstinence from food. The literal translation means “no food.”

So fasting is voluntarily abstaining from food. Problem # 1.

This spurred me on to more digging. If by definition fasting is “not to eat”, then what about the Daniel Fast? And here’s what I found.

A little background on Daniel: Daniel was an Israelite and a devout follower of God. As a devout follower, he was committed to following the Law. And the Law contained dietary guidelines. That meant there were certain foods he was to abstain from. So when he was taken captive by the Babylonians and forced to serve in the king’s court, that meant he had to eat the food provided by the king. And that put Daniel in a moral dilemma.

His response to this situation is found in Daniel 1:8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Daniel’s intent was to avoid compromise and follow God’s instruction for eating as closely as possible, so he asked for permission to eat differently than the king’s household. In verse 12 we see he asks,Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water. Veggies and water were all the king offered that was acceptable for Daniel to eat. Nothing else met the dietary laws God had given His people to follow at that time. Daniel was simply trying to eat as he always had, meeting the dietary guidelines of the Law.

In Daniel 10:2-3 we also see where Daniel made a diet modification. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks.  All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. Here we see that Daniel was mourning – he was distressed or troubled – and because of this he chose to alter his diet.

In both of these passages, the Hebrew word tsom is not used. This is why translators did not put the English word “fasting” anywhere in these passages. So in my humble opinion, you can’t take these passages and call what Daniel did a fast.

BUT – in Daniel 9:3 we do find that Daniel did fast. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. The word that is translated as fasting is the Hebrew word tsom which means Daniel did not eat any food. No diet modifications. He did not eat.

So I think that what Daniel did in Chapters 1 and 10 would be better labeled as the Daniel Diet – not the Daniel Fast. And there’s nothing wrong with Daniel’s Diet. It’s good to eat better and care for our bodies – but to call it a fast, in my opinion, is misleading.

In Matthew 4:2 we also see that Jesus fasted. For forty days and forty nights He fasted and became very hungry. The word fasted here is the Greek word nésteuó, which is the past-tense of the Greek word I mentioned earlier, nesteia. When Jesus fasted, He did not eat any food – that’s why He became very hungry.

AND – in Matthew 6:16 where Jesus said: And when you fast,……He used the Greek word nesteia, which means to abstain from food. So His instruct is when (not if) you abstain from food….

So by the Biblical definition – fasting is only about food and it is about abstaining from food.

Third: When you fast, you replace meal time with prayer. When you would have been eating, you pray. You’re adding more prayer time to your day.

So instead of eating, you’re praying. Problem # 2.

No wonder I found the experience disappointing. I was either not eating and avoiding the hunger pains by staying busy. OR – I was modifying my diet but still eating normal times, never feeling hungry. And on neither occasion did I add more prayer.

So in recent years I have made corrections. When fasting I do not eat at designated times. (nor do I load up before or after to compensate for the missed calories) I spend the time I would have eaten being with Abba. I am still, I worship, I read the Bible, I listen. I am just with Him. And when my stomach growls or I develop a headache, I turn my thoughts toward Him – even if just for a second.

And this makes all the difference. Not once have I been disappointed. Every time – without fail – I have encountered Abba in a new way. Whether at some point during the fast or after its completion, I have experienced revelation, clarity, renewal and a deepening of my relationship with Him. I always walk away with something wonderful.

It’s not fun. You will get hungry. You will have a headache. You may get nauseous. You might feel tired. But be encouraged – it will be worth it in ways that are immeasurable!!

So maybe you want to try this for your 21 Day Fast this month.  Whether it’s one meal a day or abstaining between sun-up to sun-down, or not eating between 9am and 5pm, try not eating and praying during the time you would normally sit down to eat. And keep your regular prayer time. Who knows what amazing things you’ll walk away with.