Free At Last

A message by Dr. Tony Evans

CLICK HERE FOR THE ABOVE PRINTABLE

WOW, my fingers got tired typing the notes from today’s lesson! There was so much! (You can listen to it for free by going to your App Store and searching Tony Evans)

John 8:31-36

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

In a nutshell, Tony teaches the above text like this:

We can live like we believe we are free, but we operate within the prison walls we have set up for ourselves due to our sin. (Which will always keep us separated from our Father, and the good things He has for us)

We need to gut the room, instead of covering it up with more wall paper. We need surgery, but instead, we take pain relievers to deal with a problem that will not go away without the Great Physician. “Rejecting the truth, is killing us.” -Tony Evans

Freedom-is being liberated or released from illegitimate bondage or limitations in order for us to become all that we were created and then redeemed to be.” -Tony Evans

UNLESS we abide (remain, rest, dwell, stay…in God’s Word) we will not know truth, which will keep us from the freedom Christ is waiting to give us! We can hear truth, but to live it, we must step forward and take the hand of Christ.

A final thought Dr. Evans gave us today came from John 11.

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Jesus told Lazarus to “come forth!” and Lazarus comes walking out of the grave, yet he was STILL “tied up in death clothes”

——>So, Jesus said to THEM “take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

ONE OF THE WAYS GOD SETS PEOPLE FREE, IS TO USE THE BODY of CHRIST TO HELP UNWRAP ANOTHER’S GRAVE CLOTHES. <——That’s how I got unwrapped!

I am eternally grateful to so many women!

GOD, in His great mercy, ALLOWS US TO COME ALONGSIDE SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS THE SAME PROBLEM WE ONCE HAD, to help them unwrap their grave clothes. ❤️

When the bail is posted (truth) you feel better right away…you have the paper work for freedom…

BUT, it’s when the door is unlocked (the Son has the key) that you are FREE INDEED.

Blessings and FREEDOM to you Sisters!

Unchained,

Time To Cross Over

A lesson from Dr. Tony Evans

Click on this image for Printable

We’ve all been stuck in a boat that is caught in a storm. I’ve been in quite a few…some of my own doing. I STEPPED WILLINGLY INTO THE STORM.

I have a dear friend who has been in the boat such a long time. The thing is, her kids are in the boat with her. Their storm is a very physical one. Medical issues that are unrelenting.

Unrelenting

adjective

  1. not yielding in strength, severity, or determination.

My heart aches with her…Her kids are fighting a storm of health issues that are NOT YIELDING IN STRENGTH OR SEVERITY…DAILY. If you are a Mom, you can probably relate to the deep pain you experience, watching your children suffer in ways you cannot relieve…if you could, you’d gladly take this pain from them…but lack the power to do so.

These are the circumstances when we have NO CHOICE but to completely LET GO OF OUR GRIP …we must let go of the stern to take hold of Jesus hand. (Mark 4)

“Mortal words” never make a dent in the wall of suffering some endure…

In an Article by Sarah Walton she says this:

Distress teaches us to rest in God’s sovereignty.

What has gradually changed my perspective on my life, my child, and my family’s struggles is that it’s never been about me. When I believe that life is all about my happiness, when I think that I could do more if I didn’t have this hardship or that I am missing out on what life could have been, I get discontent, anxious, and downcast. But when, by God’s grace, I trust that nothing happens apart from his will and sovereign plan, I am encouraged and strengthened, knowing he is working in and through even my darkest days, to make me more like him. It is in the midst of our darkness that his light shines most brightly to those around us. 

As much as we would like answers and help for the painful, confusing, overwhelming circumstances, we must remember that Christ himself is the answer that we need in both an earthly and spiritual sense. He knows each member of our family intimately and is working out his good purposes in each of our lives (including the children he calls home and those living with disability or illness), often in ways we never would have expected. As we learn to trust Christ in our grief, despite what seems hopeless, we can begin to grasp more deeply the profound hope of the gospel. 

If you have been entrusted with a road that has been marked by loss in your parenting and are struggling to see beyond the pain, I pray that you will be strengthened by remembering that your family has been divinely chosen to display God’s glorious redemption story. Although we aren’t promised healing (physical or mental) on this earth, we are promised that Christ will not waste one tear we shed over the painful effects of sin and brokenness within our world. You are not hopeless, you are not alone, and your losses will not have the final word.

Entrusted with this pain? How can we ever wrap our human mind around this truth? How did Job do it?

In a recent post, I shared a story Tony Evans told about the Shoe Cobbler.

“I work down here, but I LIVE UP THERE.”

I only know of ONE WAY to reconcile the storms of life we find ourselves in… “THIS IS NOT OUR HOME, and GOD IS GOOD AND ONLY HAS GOOD FOR US.” <—- ok, maybe that’s two ways:)

ONLY the Lord can give us peace in the storm…hope, in the storm, power, in the storm. He promises these things to His children. We either believe Him or we don’t. If we do believe, then the next VERY DIFFICULT STEP is to let go of the stern and trust Him for everything we need to keep moving forward… cause let’s be honest, there are days when taking another step feels absolutely impossible. Our head know that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH CHRIST, but our heart has a bit of trouble with this.

Most days, all I can do is lovingly listen to my friend…then pray. There are no “words.”

I know that there are times when we have weathered a storm so long, that we stop asking for help. Do you know what I mean? We think that others are bored with our struggles and needs…but this is not where a TRUE friend resides.

I am reminded of Moses…

…As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed; but when he lowered them, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it.Then Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on eachside, so that his hands remained steady until the sunwent down. -Exodus 17:11,12

Love isn’t love without sacrifice. “Love is ascribing worth to another at cost to oneself.” (Greg Boyd)

The power to extend Selfless love only comes from the author of Love.

Lord, give me the heart and the strength to love what you love…to be like Aaron and Hur…a friend who will stand in the gap…who will hold up some arms.

Bless God’s name for how He’s going to take you to the other side.

He may be calling you to hold up another’s arms. (In His strength)

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. -Philippians 1:6

Much love,

The Power of the Tongue/ Dynamite in your Dentures- by Tony Evans

Hello!

I have been listening to Dr. Tony Evans latest podcast series entitled “Watch Your Mouth”  If you’ve never heard Tony Evans preach, you’re in for a treat. I have mentioned him here before…he happens to be Priscilla Shirer’s Daddy:) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

You can download his podcast app for free here.

These lessons are about our mouth.

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing” We have the power to heal or destroy…to build up, or tear down.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” -Proverbs 18:21

God simply spoke and the earth was created. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…The Word was God.

Words are important to God. They need to be valued and used with great care, always tempered by the Holy Spirit.

Many of us have experienced the explosive dynamite that can come from someone’s mouth. Words that have caused us harm; words that have changed the way we see ourselves, others, and even God.

“How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,these things ought not to be so.” James 3:5-10

”No human being can tame the tongue.” As it says above, man can tame many beasts, but not the tongue. When it is unleashed it has the power to “stain the whole body!” I am sure many of us have experienced this kind of damaging fire that was started by one “small” match.

We are careless with our words, and often take the responsibility of speech lightly. We throw out words so recklessly, without giving thought to the effect they have…the fires they start.

As we allow God to tame our tongues, we can choose to bring life to others.

I cannot do Tony’s teaching justice, so I encourage you to listen to his messages on “the Mouth.”

Below is a doodle that was sparked by this powerful message! (Dynamite in your dentures)

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF

Tony uses the cow as an illustration in one of the other messages in this series…”he” (the cow) kept coming to my mind:)

Lord, help us practice the surrender required to give YOU the “reins” to tame our tongue…

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29

Equip us with self-control… to stop, and invite the Holy Spirit to direct our mouths.

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giants & Game Changers

Happy Thursday!

Coming to you today-straight from the hills of Ephes-dammim. The location of the battle between David and Goliath.

Dr. and Pastor Tony Evans takes us on a journey to this place as he describes 1 Samuel Chapter 17.

You can find this message by clicking the link below.

 

David and Goliath 
1 Samuel 17 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six[a] cubits[b] and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels[c] of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

Well, Saul was the Israelites biggest, baddest dude…their fiercest opponent…yet he paled in comparison to this Philistine GIANT.

The Israelites decided to pack up and retreat. All they could see with their human minds and hearts was defeat.

When David showed up on the scene…He saw beyond their circumstance. He didn’t see HIMSELF fighting this battle, He saw his POWERFUL GOD fighting this battle and claimed what was rightfully his. He acted with authority because he KNEW his God to be faithful…He had experience with this.

37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

Tony Evans encourages us in his message to GIVE OUR circumstance, our problem, our enemy…

the name GOLIATH, because “we know how that turns out!”

When we give what we’re “up against” the name Goliath, we can be reminded that our GOD  is BIGGER and MORE POWERFUL than anything we will ever face. Victory is the final WORD. It may not happen as swiftly as a rock sent from a sling shot, but we can have confidence that our God has AUTHORITY OVER ALL…including EVERY GIANT.

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? -Isaiah 45:9

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Ask the Lord to give you a NEW perspective…to see beyond your present circumstance, beyond your human emotions and fear…

Ask your GREAT God for HIS perspective…to SEE with His eyes, so that you can find the hope that lies beyond the “physical realm.”  Each step you take, however small, will grow your confidence, and your strength, as you TRUST Him through your obedience. God meets us on the other side of obedience with the blessing of His presence and provision.

I highly recommend Dr. Tony Evan’s app! His messages are biblical, powerful, inspiring, and at times humorous:)

Try listening to one while your doing “chores” around the house, driving in your car, or creating an entry in your journal or Bible:)

*speaking of giants…

I have to take this opportunity to share my FAVORITE GIANT MOVIE!  It’s SO under appreciated. It’s even directed by Stephen Spielberg! It’s called THE BFG. It is a BEAUTIFUL story written by Ronald Dahl. If you watch it, make sure you listen to EVERY word. There is so much to “hear.”  I fell in love with this giant:)

 

Curl up and watch this weekend with your kiddos…I watched it without ANY kids the first time…just me:)

AND, don’t forget to…

Name that giant your facing Goliath, then step out in faith, with expectation that your God will meet your needs.

He keeps His promises.

Bless you Sister!

 

Praying for more Hospitals

How many of you have been BLESSED by Priscilla Shirer’s ministry? I sure have! She is an incredible teacher, adorable Mom and humble servant. Before I ever had the opportunity to hear her teach, I listened to her Dad, Dr. Tony Evans.

The Lord spoke transforming truth into my life and marriage 20 years ago, through the teaching of Priscilla’s daddy:) I know I’ve said it before, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree:)

Technology is a blessing and a curse…right?! Some days it feels like the enemy himself, distracting me from obedience to God. Other days, it is a blessing beyond belief as I am able to connect with encouraging Sisters like you and “plug in” to incredible teaching right at my fingertips.

I recently went back to my “roots” and downloaded an app available through Tony Evans Ministry. You can find it by clicking the link below.

http://get.theapp.co/82a8

Oh, how I needed to hear from this passionate, Spirit filled preacher…this morning, I listened to a message entitled

A Challenge to Higher Standards” Part 1…Tony preaches it good!

The challenge of working to bring more people into the church is that sometimes God’s Word gets pushed out. We rationalize that being sick isn’t so bad…by tolerating what God does not tolerate.”  -Tony Evans

The message comes from Revelation Chapter 2

To the Church in Thyatira
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule[a] them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Jesus loved all, but He never “sugar coated” THE TRUTH.  The world today preaches tolerance. Jesus says in the text above….- I have a problem with that. AND…even if you are not “doing”  “the thing” (the sin) you have turned your head in tolerance.

Dr. Evans explained that Jezebel was married to Ahab, the king of Israel, and she worshipped Baal. Jezebel talked her husband into worshipping Baal. (1 Kings) This influence then poured over all the people of Israel…and so they began the compromise of turning their head to her behaviors. Even though the Church in Thyatira was faithful in many ways, the Lord had a problem with their tolerance of Jezebel.

“Churches today are dumbing down God’s standards for fear of being intolerant.”  Society equates intolerance with hatred. It’s not the same thing. “What is unacceptable to God, should be unacceptable to His people.” -Tony Evans

Intolerance should mean that we recognize our sickness. We don’t abandon or turn away from the sickness, but we roll up our sleeves to love others as we help them to move towards wellness.

Unfortunately, the world no longer defines “tolerance” as acknowledgement that others have a differing belief. It has come to mean full acceptance of those beliefs. Of course this definition makes no logical sense because to embrace this type of tolerance precludes any personal opinion or belief. Christians are not to endorse religious beliefs that run counter to what the Bible teaches.

The problem with today’s definition of tolerance is that it rejects the possibility that objective truth exists. The Bible teaches that truth does exist, that God is truth, and that we are to follow in His truth. John 1:14 and 17 says that Jesus, who came from the Father, gives us truth. John 8:32 and Romans 6:16-23 says that the truth sets us free from the control of sin.

The Bible is also clear regarding those who hide or distort the truth in the name of tolerance. Romans 1:18 says whoever suppresses the truth will receive the wrath of God. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says that our mission is to teach others of the truth about Him. First Corinthians 13:6 (NIV) says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” John 14:6 says that Jesus is the truth. While Christians can acknowledge the right of others to have different beliefs, we cannot allow those beliefs to go unchallenged for one simple reason: it is not loving, and Jesus calls us to love (Luke 10:25-37).”

-from Illuminatedtruth.org

I love the illustration that Tony uses to help us understand the intolerance Jesus spoke of…

Hospitals want to help you with  pain…with illness. In order for Hospitals to do their job they must hold to the postition that germs are intolerable. If surgery is to happen, then the operating room needs to be germ free or further complications will result …healing will not happen. The hospital is NOT turning away sick people, but they are maintaining standards in order to make people well.

Dr. Evans goes on to say this:

 

 

If we fail to recognize and admit our sin…our disease…we will never get the “treatment” needed. Love is the medicine required…not judgement or condemnation. BUT, if we fail to administer medicine without God’s authority, power, blessing, & “standards”  the healing will never take place and the germs will remain.

We will  NEVER be comfortable in our “flesh” no matter how much as we try. So let’s settle in and be thankful for “the uncomfortable” …it is the built in reminder of our NEED for a Savior.

All of us.

We ALL need the hospital:)

With that last thought, I just have to include one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE videos…written by Jemaine Clement and Bret Mckenzie. (Flight of the Conchords) in order to raise money for a Children’s Hosptial.

IF YOU WANT TO SMILE, LAUGH, AND HAVE A NEW SONG OF HOPE IN YOUR HEART TODAY…watch this video! Jemaine and Bret interview the most precious group of kids, take their responses, and use them to write a song to raise money for the cause. Listen to the interviews and hang in there for the song!

I listen to it at least once or twice a month!!!

“hosptial, lospital.”

 

 

Heat up those kernels!

Hello!

This morning I Iistened to a Podcast by Dr. Tony Evans.

If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Evans, he is Senior Pastor to the 9,500 member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. He is also founder and president of The Urban Alternative, a national organization dedicated to Christian teachings.

He has raised a beautiful family including the charismatic speaker and teacher PRISCLLA SHIRER. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree:)

Tony Evans is a colorful storyteller and gifted communicator. I highly recommend listening for yourself!

You can listen here!

Today, his sermon painted this picture below…

 

2 Peter 1:1-11New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Growth in Christian Virtue
1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith of the same [b]kind as ours, [c]by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us [d]by His own glory and [e]excellence. 4 [f]For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral [g]excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

 

Let’s pop some corn!

Don’t forget the extra butter!