Rise Up!

“Texas church service stabbing leaves at least one dead; suspect in custody”

Every time I see the above headline my heart is both heavy and hopeful. Heavy for the family of the dear man whose life on earth ended. Hopeful for what I feel God is getting ready to do.

It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago I was standing in the very room where these attacks occurred.  As I worshipped and prayed with these precious brothers and sisters in the Lord, there is no way I could have ever imagined that a week and a half later a vicious assault by a tormented man would take the life of one of the band members and leave one of the pastors hospitalized with multiple stab wounds.

Romans 8:28 reminds us that “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The enemy brought evil, but God’s love will prevail! The members of this church have a heart for the lost, the wounded, and the broken. They have a heart for the body of Christ. They have a heart for Corpus Christi. That is why they have been fasting and praying for over a month.

Yesterday morning, when a friend called me and told me about the attacks, my first reaction was disbelief. My second was to worship. Through the instability of a tormented soul, the enemy tried to take this church down, but in knowing these amazing brothers and sisters in Christ and in knowing the heart of my awesome God, I believe they will rise up.

As I prayed and worshipped, I kept hearing the phrase, “bricks without straw”. I immediately thought about Moses.

Before the Israelite slaves obtained their freedom, their circumstances became worse, not better. They were told that they had to make the same quota of bricks without using the straw that helped to hold the bricks together.

Instead of crying out for freedom, the people cried for Moses to leave them alone. They would rather stay in slavery than suffer while awaiting victory.

When trauma and tragedy shake our worlds, we must choose whether we will let our circumstances take us down or cause us to rise up.

Rising doesn’t mean that we don’t grieve.

Rising doesn’t mean that we don’t hurt for the hurting.

Rising doesn’t mean that we don’t use wisdom.

Rising doesn’t mean that we don’t pursue justice.

Rising means that in the midst of the pain we don’t let go of our purpose.

The enemy wants to derail us. God wants to propel us.

I just read another article stating that Pastor Abraham has forgiven the attacker and the church will meet this Sunday as usual.

When tragedy strikes our lives the enemy tries to take us down, shut us down, and shut us up. He wants us to focus on what has been taken from us (no more straw for making our bricks) instead of on focusing on what God is getting ready to do in us and through us. The slaves wanted an easier load, but God wanted freedom for all. If they had known that God’s plan would release them from making bricks, they would have not seen the missing straw as being a problem.

When Pharaoh told them that they had to make bricks without straw, he had given them an impossible task. Little did he or the slaves know, that God was going to do the impossible and remove both Pharaoh and the task.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but God does. If you have been shaken by what has been taken from you, don’t let the enemy take you down, shut you down, or shut you up. Know that God loves you. Instead of taking on fear, guilt, condemnation, or bitterness, Take hold of Jesus’ hand and trust His heart –then rise up and take hold of the victory He is preparing for you!

Please keep the pastors of Kingdom Acts Ministries (Harvest Tabernacle Church) , their church members, and the family and friends of the wounded and deceased in your prayers. Pray also for the healing and deliverance of the attacker.

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

Church banner from facebook page

Lions in Waiting

A few days ago a young man was talking to me about taking risks for God. Several times during our conversation, he commented that not playing it safe could result in being eaten by lions in the lions’ den. This young man is definitely a risk taker. His message was clear. It’s better to live courageously for God and die, than to never truly live.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I live an out-of-box life. Sometimes I know where I am going to be next, months ahead of time. Sometimes I don’t get my next direction until the last minute. But God always makes it clear and opens the doors and provides for everything He has called for me to do.

There have been seasons when I have felt like I was in a den full of hungry lions, but there have also been seasons where I have felt like I was soaring with eagles. Whether in a den or on top of a mountain, God has been ever-present and faithful.

Long after our conversation was over, I continued to process the young man’s words, ” You might get eaten by lions…” I thought about the early Christians who were ripped apart and devoured by lions, and I thought about Daniel who was rescued from the lions. God was present both in the den and in the amphitheater. Heaven was advancing and the enemy was losing ground. In both cases, facing the lions turned the hearts of men and brought glory to God.

Only the Lord knows if my God adventures will someday close my chapter on this earth in martyrdom, but I would rather face the lions than hide and not fulfill my purpose.

The lions’ den might end in death, but as Daniel learned, it can also be the place where we are delivered, leader’s hearts are changed, our enemies are destroyed, and we are empowered to rule with more authority.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to playing it safe or facing the lions-the lions have it hands down.

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

After King Darius destroyed Daniel’s enemies, he wrote the following decree:

“…To all peoples, nations,and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.
I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble in fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He work signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the Lions.

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian” Daniel 6:25-28 (NKJV).

Wrappings

Last March, I began communicating with a man I had met on-line. He was a handsome business owner and a dedicated father who was involved in his church and community.  After a month of text messages and phone calls we agreed to meet in person. To say that I was excited would have been an understatement. Since he was coming from another city and I hadn’t agreed to date anyone for the past three years, I had already begun to lightly sketch him into my life’s painting as my possible Boaz.

As I was getting ready for my date, my hopes were high. Putting on my makeup I felt like a schoolgirl preparing for the prom. Even though it was just a lunch date, I wore a nice dress and high heels. “This might be it,” I said to myself, “After 17 years of singleness, I might be meeting the One God has been preparing for me.”

Ten minutes into our date my high hopes turned into hope deferred. Not only was there a lack of chemistry, I found him to be incredibly boring and materialistic.

I don’t cry often, but after I got home I bawled like a baby. That night I asked for prayer and my pastors prayed for me.

When I awoke the following morning, past scenarios in my life were running through my head like movie clips. Anytime I had trusted God and obeyed Him, even in the midst of difficult seasons, I was thankful because I could now see the blessings. It was the times when I had disobeyed God or made decisions based upon what looked good to me that had caused me grief and filled me with regret.

I had recited the phrase “God is good!” many times, but that morning I understood God’s goodness at a whole new level. God is not only is good, He always knows what is good for me. Even when the packaging of my circumstances didn’t look or feel good, He was always good.

I wrote the following poem during a discouraging season. At that time it was difficult for me to see God’s goodness; but I can clearly see it now. I pray it will bless you.

Wrappings

Two packages lay before me,

One elegant; one plain.

The one in finest wrapping.

The other brown with string.

With delight I grabbed the first one;

Gently removed the bows

And folded down the paper

While anticipation rose.

But disappointment surfaced

Almost immediately

As I opened up the box

And it contents I did see.

For instead of finest treasures

Of diamonds or of gold,

It was filled with thorns and thistles

And miseries untold.

So reluctantly I reached out

And placed the second on the floor.

With its drab and plain appearance

What horrors were in store?

Then cautiously I cut

The fraying well-worn string,

Removed the plain brown paper

And opened up the awful thing.

All disappointment left

As delight filled up my soul

For in that plain and simple package

Were treasures to behold.

Sometimes God’s greatest gifts

Are hidden for a season.

It’s often later down the road

We understand the reason.

Jeannie Boatright

I have learned that sometimes the most incredible gifts come in the most unusual packages.

 May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

photo from Pixabay

Stuck

There have been seasons in my life when I have felt stuck. A few years ago, while I was praying, (begging would be a more accurate description) for God to end my then current season and let me “get on with my life,” I saw a vision of a clock. Its hands were rapidly spinning, signifying the passing of not only days, but years.

Even though the hands of the clock seemed to be spinning out of control, I felt a sense of God being in control—not just in control of the clock, but of time itself, particularly the seasons of my life. God spoke to my spirit that things were getting ready to accelerate, due in part, to the people with which He had surrounded me. At that moment, I realized that I hadn’t been stuck; I had been placed.

God had placed me exactly where He wanted me. He had placed me where I would prosper the most. My stuck season hadn’t been stagnant. It had been a season of equipping, growth, and connections that would cause much to come about quickly in the upcoming season.

The vision of the clock reminded me of Joseph. In the 37th chapter of Genesis, Joseph dreams about his destiny, but in Chapter 39, he ends up on jail duty. His purpose leads him to prison-for a very long season.

I am sure there were times when Joseph felt stuck. The Bible tells us that Joseph was faithful in all that was put before him. He also had favor. While he was stuck in prison, God was setting up his acceleration. As Joseph managed the books, God was writing Joseph’s book—a story that would instantly take him from the prison to the palace to the position of second ruler in the land. His prison time, his “stuck season” prepared him for the destiny for which he had been created—a destiny that would save many lives!

It’s easy to get discouraged when we feel stuck between our vision and our destiny. But feeling stuck is not a bad thing. It is an indicator of change. Feeling stuck encourages us to rise up and to take hold of our promises. Complacency kills destiny, but feeling stuck in invites it, as we are continuously reminded that there is something greater ahead.

Are you are feeling stuck? Has God has given you visions you haven’t seen come to pass? Are you trying to hold onto your sanity while holding on to your dreams? If so, be encouraged. God is going before you and setting things in order. Continue to be faithful with all that is before you. The hands on the clock are turning and will soon begin spinning. Get ready! God is going to accelerate time as He moves you into a new season-a season of changed positions and answered promises!

Lord, you are so faithful! Thank you for all of the seasons in my life, including when I feel stuck. Thank you for your equipping and favor, even when I don’t recognize it. I am confident that where you have placed me now will accelerate where you are taking me. Help me to be faithful and learn all you have for me to learn. Help me to trust you as you lead me toward my destiny. In Jesus’ Name…Amen!

Be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

Photo by khfalk- pixabay

Our Movies

 

My computer/tablet has been having major issues. The other day it wouldn’t let me open any of my word programs and today it appears to be speaking in tongues. THisbm is whadt it lyoyoks like when I tp]e yon the kebmyoadrad.

Even though my keyboard is speaking its own language, I attempted to use it anyway. After each sentence I had to go back and delete the extra letters that had been inserted into each word. The process was frustrating. It didn’t take long for me to realize that using my keyboard was stealing both my peace and my time. It was time to disconnect the keyboard. Thankfully, I can still type on the touch screen.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about a vision God had given me about the restoration of heart’s desires. Shortly afterwards, the Lord told me that I was to work on a couple of books I had started writing quite a few years ago. One of them is about the lies that kept me in abuse and the truths that set me free.

Writing about my past can be similar to this morning’s experience with my malfunctioning keyboard. In just a few sentences a slew of memories can quickly surface, causing me frustration and stealing my peace. There were times when I was writing a few of the stories in my first two books that I was crying so hard from painful memories that I could barely see what I was typing.

Whenever painful memories used to surface I would either ignore them, agonize over them, or try to analyze them. Now, when hurtful memories kick up, instead of looking in, I look up. It’s not about introspection as much as it is about gaining a new perspective.

When I take the pain of my past to the Lord, He reveals His presence and gives me purpose. He exposes the lies I believed, helps me to forgive, and writes His truth on the tablet of my heart. As the Holy Spirit reveals the plans of the enemy and the bondages and wounds of those who hurt me, the movie script in my mind of is rewritten, and I see Jesus in every scene. Sometimes He is shielding me. Sometimes He is holding me. Sometimes He is crying. Sometimes He is fiercely protecting me. Sometimes He is speaking truth to me—even when I am not listening. At all times, Jesus is loving me and revealing His heart to me.

Rewriting my life movie writes my purpose. When I See Jesus in every scene of my past, I can clearly see Him in every scene in my future. My story becomes His story as He takes the good, the bad, and the ugly and uses it all for His glory and to bring freedom to others. I might need to process some things and even shed some tears when Jesus shows up in my past memories, but the new outlook He gives me always turn my tears of sorrow into incredible joy.

When you and I give God our pasts, He inserts His presence, His truth, and His promises to bless our futures. Have you given God your movie?

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Psalm 30:11-12(NIV)

 

Masterpiece

Last night I went to bed praying for the hopeless and hurting. When I woke up this morning I remembered a beautiful work of art I had seen many years ago. Since it was a mosaic, I had to stand at a distance to see the picture come together. I was amazed at the masterpiece the artist had created from tiny shards of glass and broken pieces of tile.

As I pictured the mosaic, I thought about how God restores broken lives. The story of Ruth came to mind. Ruth was a woman in the Bible who suffered great loss. After the death of her husband, Ruth looked at the broken pieces of her life and made a difficult decision. Instead of returning to her own people and her old ways, she committed herself to her mother-in-law Naomi and vowed to trust in the One True God:

“But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me” Ruth 1: 16-17 (NKJV).

When Ruth handed God the broken pieces of her life in the midst of her sorrow, she could not have even begun to fathom the incredible work of art the master artist would create from them. Trusting God with the pieces, created an astounding picture of restoration. The poor, childless widow became a wealthy wife and a mother. The one who had little, received much more than she could have thought or imagined.

As Ruth’s life was coming to a close, she probably marveled at the part of the mosaic she had been able to see. But she could have never imagined the final touches the artist had yet to make. After she breathed her last, the One True God would continue to glue pieces on her mosaic. The final picture would show her descendants, one of them being her great-grandson David. Ruth’s broken pieces would become a piece in the lineage of Jesus, the Savior of the World.

Today, if your life and heart have been shattered, I would encourage you to give the Lord your broken pieces as you pray this prayer with me. But first, you might want to reach down as if you are gathering the pieces. Then holding them in your hands, lift up your hands and open them, releasing your pieces to the Lord.

Precious Lord, thank you for always being there for me. I don’t understand why my life has been shattered, but I choose to trust you. You can see what I cannot see, and you can do what I could never do. I raise my hands in both surrender and victory, knowing that the pieces I am giving you will become part of a beautiful mosaic. You are the master artist. Come and make a masterpiece out of the broken pieces of my life. I love you Lord! In  Jesus name…Amen.

Always know God loves you and adores you!

Jeannie

Praying for My Daughter

Please pray for my daughter!

In March, when the Lord told me I would be in Virginia in June, I had no idea that my son-in-law would be deployed in June and that my daughter’s medical conditions would worsen.

For over a decade my daughter has been battling a few auto immune illnesses. In April she started vomiting so much she lost ten pounds. I appreciate the military, but their medical often leaves a lot to be desired. Each time she went to the emergency room she was given IVs and nausea medication and was sent home. It took months for her to get blood work done. Now she is waiting for her appointments with more specialists. Her appointment with the endocrinologist that was scheduled in June is coming up next month.

In July she started feeling a little better, but getting out of the house for a doctor’s appointment or going to the store is always exhausting for her. Needless to say, she is pretty much home bound.

About a week ago, my daughter began having severe stomach and back pain. She also started throwing up again. We thought it might be appendicitis. Ends up she has internal shingles. This is the third time she has had shingles since December.

I have had many health issues, but I have also experienced many miraculous healings. I mention a few of them in my books. If God could heal me of seizures, mini strokes, emphysema, a lower back injury, a congenital heart murmur, debilitating migraines and a host of other ailments, I know that He can heal my daughter.

Sometimes it’s not a matter of faith as much as it is a matter of trust. When we don’t know the answers, we have to remember that the Lord is our answer. He is our peace. He is our hope. He is our healer. He is our strength. He is our everything!

Isaiah 43:2 doesn’t say if you walk through the fire. It says when. God never promises the absence of flames, He promises us His presence in the midst of the flames. As He shields us with His all-encompassing love, we are ignited with passion for Him and for what matters to Him. The blaze that should have destroyed us sets our hearts ablaze for Him.

I have to admit, it’s hard to watch my daughter suffer, but I have comfort in knowing that the All Knowing One is watching over her. When the Lord woke me up in March and told me, “Virginia June,” He was letting me know ahead of time that He’s got it all under control. He is the God of the wind, the waves, and the flames. In the midst of the fire we might feel heat, but we shall not be burned!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV).

 

He’s Got You Covered

For many years, I attended a church that supported a number of missionaries. When the missionaries would come to the states on furlough, they would often share testimonies on Sunday mornings. Many of their testimonies mentioned God’s supernatural provision and protection. I always felt privileged and honored to hear the hearts of the missionaries; however, the testimony of one particular woman has stayed with me until this day.

She was a single woman who pastored a church in a very hostile area in Asia. She shared about an altercation where some men were threatening to kill one of her adopted Asian sons. When a knife was pressed against the young man’s chest, the mother bear in her took over and she jumped in harm’s way. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see a man getting ready to smash a brick into her head.

I don’t remember whether she looked up or closed her eyes, but as she prepared to die, she felt feathers brush across her shoulder and face, and she heard loud thuds. When she looked down, the men were all lying flat on the ground. When they came to, they ran away.

For many years I had tremendous fear issues. I even had night terrors. The Lord had to give me some powerful revelations to set me free from torment. One revelation was when I woke up and saw an angel at the foot of my bed. I heard in my spirit, “He will cover you with His feathers.” The next morning, I wrote down Psalms 91 in its entirety and taped it on my wall.

I have personally seen God intervene many times. During some of my darkest seasons, people who had no clue what was happening in my life would come up to me or call me to tell me that they had been led to pray for me at a particular time or on a particular day. The timing was always when I had either been in danger or when I had cried out to God in the midst of desperate situations.

I don’t know what you’re going through today. But God does. The Lord loves you. He is always there for you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Draw close to Him and give Him your cares and worries. For He is already moving in your behalf, stirring hearts to pray for you, and dispatching His angels to cover you with His feathers.

You can place your trust Him-He’s got you covered!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

 

These Things I Know

This past week South Texas was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. Many small cities and towns were demolished, and Houston is still underwater.

In the last few days two of my friends have lost family members and friends to drugs and car accidents.

This past month one of my former neighbor’s husband died of cancer.

It’s so easy during times of crisis to question why?

Why did some Texas towns get destroyed while others suffered mild wind damage?

Why did some houses get gutted while others in the same area remained untouched?

Why did Houston flood, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes?

Why did some people lose their lives in the raging waters?

Why did my friend’s gorgeous, accomplished daughter die of a drug overdose when other addicts are resuscitated, just in the nick of time?

Why did two young people lose their lives in a car crash?

Why did my former neighbor lose her husband to cancer?

To each of these questions I can honestly say, “I don’t know.”

Sometimes life hits us hard, leaving us swirling in a whirlwind of unanswered questions. If you are going through a storm or a season of loss, my heart goes out to you.

I can not give you answers to your questions.

But these things I do know…

I know that you are precious to God, and the same eye that is on the sparrow never takes its focus off of you.

I know that the One who parted the Red Sea is able and willing to part the impossibilities in your current situation.

I know that when you put your hope and trust in the One who promised restoration to the children of Israel, He will move Heaven and earth to restore your life.

I know that the One who declared, “it is good!” after each day of creation, will show you His goodness in the most amazing ways.

I know that no matter how violent the storm, or how intense the heartache, the One who opened His arms wide for you on Calvary is now opening His arms to hold you close to His heart.

I know that The Lord is loving and faithful, and that He will bring beauty from the ashes in your life.

Yes! These things I know!

Let’s continue to unite in prayer for all those who have been affected by the hurricane, and for those who have suffered other losses. For I know that the prayers of the righteous avail much!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright