Find Beauty In The Simple Things Again— “Rejoice Evermore!” This Will Restore Your Soul

By Kathi Pelton

The entire world realizes the seriousness of this hour as COVID-19 has created a health and financial crisis. Along with this, God is causing a deep sobering and refining in the hearts of His people as we navigate this landscape, facing issues unprecedented in any of our lifetimes. I personally have never experienced such a soul-searching time.

Then, yesterday as my husband and I watched the final episode of an HBO mini-series about John Adams (second president of the United States), a scene that occurred just prior to his death struck my spirit at a profoundly deep level.

Adams’ entire life had been dedicated to the very hard and real struggle to see his new nation founded and unified; he truly made great sacrifices for this cause. In his old age, after many personal losses, he began to despair as he felt he had paid too great a price. But in this scene, he was a very old man and was taking a short walk with his son. Suddenly he stopped and bent over, looking like he might fall. But he wasn’t falling but rather coming to his senses. He began to describe to his son the time that he stood before the queen of England and was amazed by the opulence of her crown adorned with 2,800 diamonds—including a 105-carat diamond in the front—and the beautiful jewels around her neck and on her hands. Then, as he was still bent over, the camera focused on what he was viewing; a tiny wildflower. With tears and deep passion he said, “All of the diamonds and jewels do not even begin to compare to the beauty of this one tiny flower.”

He then began to weep and laugh at the same time. This ninety-year-old man started to dance, grabbed his son’s arms, and shouted, (quoting the Apostle Paul) “Rejoice evermore! Rejoice evermore!”

The simple, pure perspective of creation and its Creator restored his soul. The “weight of the world” suddenly lifted off him and allowed the end of his life to be filled with simple beauty and joys.

As I watched this scene, tears filled my eyes and the Lord began to go to a new depth in me; but this depth was one of being restored to the child-like wonder of His beauty and creation. It caught me off-guard, even though earlier that day my husband and I were talking about pleasures we’d abandoned because we have become so serious about “seeing His Kingdom established.”

I am not suggesting at all that the sacrifices that we and others have made to serve our God are wrong or in vain, but I suddenly heard Him ask me, “Why don’t you paint? Why did you stop drawing and creating?”

My only answer was, “Well, how is that going to advance Your Kingdom?” As the words came from my mouth I suddenly knew that these simple talents and passions bring His heart pleasure— after all, look at how His artistry in earth’s creation brings us such pleasure.

Then I saw in my mind different scenes of our young grandsons rejoicing as they spend their days running through the tall grass with abandoned joy, or snuggling a neighbor’s kitty, or laughing as they run through a sprinkler. The Lord said, “Is their time wasted?”

I didn’t need to answer Him. Of course I knew that their joy and wonder brings Him great pleasure.

As all this unfolded, something began to be resurrected in my heart. It was the value that God puts upon the “simple beauties.” The tiny spring flowers carpeting the fields, the cherry blossom petals swirling in air like a snowfall, the sunrise and sunsets that paint our sky, and the birds singing songs that could be interpreted in the same words that John Adams sang as he looked upon the tiny flower, “Rejoice. Rejoice evermore!”

There is a deep work happening that is purifying our hearts and decluttering our lives. And yet, there is a resurrection of true wonder, beauty, and joy occurring as well. Let’s not forget to take time to experience His beauty by listening to the song birds, or breathing the aroma of a field of wildflowers, or stopping to look at the beautiful sky with someone we love. Take time to pick up those passions that were left behind and labeled “futile” as we viewed a world caught in the grip of sin and darkness. There is balance restored in understanding that we can be still, knowing that He is God, and we are not! In stillness we will find awe, wonder, and beauty again— which will restore joy to our weary souls.

There are times that it is proper for us to be deeply serious, and yet there are just as many moments that we are to enter into the simple beauties that remain; revealing His love in ways that restore our soul.

That moment, at the end of John Adams’ life, should not have just been a final encounter, but instead could have been thousands of small blessings woven throughout his life, so that the weight of his enormous responsibilities wouldn’t have caused such heartache in his soul. Let’s find the joy that has been woven through the landscape of creation and sown into the fabric of our lives through simple joys—painting, sewing, writing, photography, dancing, singing.

This time of alignment is also a time of balancing perspectives. We are not God, but we take things upon ourselves that set us up as “saviors.” The title Savior belongs to One, and only One. He already bore the weight of the world upon His body and gave His all for every person ever created. There is a rest and joy as we enter into the finished work of the cross and let go of the weight of a misplaced savior complex.

Deep is calling unto deep, but let’s not misunderstand that His finished work is the deepest truth we will ever embrace. Rejoice! Rejoice— REJOICE! He has overcome the world. Go out and spend an hour looking at a flower, or sit with someone you love and watch the sunset from beginning to end. Let beauty lift the weight from you and wash your soul with a resurrection of joy.

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Affections and Idols

By Kathi Pelton

As I was surveying the current state of the world around us, I was struck by the reality of the vast amount of distractions that have pulled on our “affections” prior to this Covid-19 quarantine.

From the activities of going to a restaurant for a meal– to seeing a movie– to shopping for one more thing– to attending a sports event(or watching one on TV)– we are constantly having our time filled with things that entertain and comfort us. Even Christian conferences, concerts and events have become a form of entertainment that has consumed the affections of many believers.

But suddenly they have all been removed. As I was pondering the issue of how all of these things that pull on our affections and how they have suddenly been removed I had a quick vision of idols falling. I don’t think that most people set out to or intentionally make any of these things idols but anything that exults itself above Christ or is vying for our attention and affections above God becomes an idol.

God, in His mercy, is aligning!

Prophetic voices have been prophesying “alignment” for a long time. We’ve been taking about the plumb line of God coming to align His people. It’s been happening on a small scale but not like we’d hoped or like we could see in the spirit. Now, suddenly it’s happening. We now can see the pull that these other things have had upon our affections— yes, even conferences and ministry events.

Are they bad? NO! Of course not. They are wonderful gifts but they were never meant to replace the personal, face to face time with our God. But if they become the focus of our affections that have replaced personal time with God and time in His Word then alignment is needed.

I remember when my husband and I had young children we felt to turn off cable and get rid of our TV because it had become a distraction to true face to face family time. The first week of its absence was like “going through withdrawals!” It had become the background noise in our home and it called for our attention to be turned toward it all the time. After that first week we adjusted and began spending greater quality time with God and with one another. Alignment took place in our family. We removed the thing that was becoming an idol because it was demanding our affections. Our souls wanted to be appeased which left our spirits malnourished.

As we go through this time let’s begin to take personal inventory of those things that have been removed that pull for our affections even more than God. We can repent and ask for alignment so that when these things are once again available we will live in alignment and balance. Let’s not have this crisis be a “mere moment” of sobriety from things that have become idols or distractions that have gained our affections above the Lord.

Ask the Holy Spirit to realign your priorities and the affections of your heart and soul. This truly is a moment in time that we are “coming back to our senses!”

I also want to encourage you to get face to face with your family members; those who are closed in with you! Let God rekindle the love between you and your spouse and let this be a time of restoration between parents and children. Share your hearts, carve out time that you walk together, play together, talk together and even heal together.

Let’s see our affections redeemed and those things that have become idols fall. Soon we will be able to eat out, see a movie, enjoy a sports event or attend a Christian gathering but let’s never again allow these thing to have a higher place then Jesus! May His throne in our private lives have the highest place!

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A Mic Drop Moment

By Kathi Pelton

Last night during our “Movement Night” at our church here in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Aaron Custalow shared such a powerful message. Toward the end of his message there was a moment when Aaron shares an encounter he had years ago where he had been striving to please God and running so hard for His Kingdom but it derived from a place where he was trying to “earn God’s approval” or to “return something to Jesus so because of the price He paid on the cross.” The things he was doing (preaching, praying, fasting) weren’t wrong but it came from a place of striving. God wanted his heart and for him to run with Him; not merely “for Him”. At the end of the encounter Aaron is taken to heaven and placed on the Father’s lap. He turns and sees Jesus sitting at the Father’s right side and He looks at him and says, “Aaron, I’m not mad about the cross!” (Mic drop!)

Those words penetrated the atmosphere throughout the room. How many sons and daughters in the family of God are striving but not in the grace and rest of Jesus but in a driveness to somehow earn what has been freely given? The works are good, the running hard is good but the motivation of the heart is not aligned with sonship and the absolutely free gift that Jesus gave us on the cross (we were the “joy set before Him”). When Aaron repeated the words that Jesus spoke to him, “I’m not mad about the cross” I could feel it penetrating hearts that had been striving with a sense of “I’m not doing enough!” My heart was more free to “strive to enter into His rest.” It felt like a moment of deliverance from striving.

Yes, we should give our all for the sake of His name and so that He receives His full inheritance! Yes, we should give our “yes” to all that He asks! But we do it to run with Him in joy, freedom and in rest. The price He paid did not come with a disclaimer or some small print that we forgot to read that said, “You still owe Me something.” It was and is free and HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT WHAT HE PAID! HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT THR CROSS!

These words felt like a trip wire for many returning to first love. Somewhere along the way the running after Him turned into our job or our work but we lost joy and passion. First love causes us to run but we don’t tire and we don’t leave His side. We just want to be with Him! He becomes our motivation and we do more than ever before but we don’t weary because we run from the place of “there is no where I’d rather be and no one I’d rather be with!”

When my husband and I were dating I hardly slept; I just wanted to be where he was! I’d work an eight hour day and then go to be with him and often at 3 a.m. we’d still be talking, holding hands and not wanting to leave each other’s side. When I slept I’d awake with my first thought being, “When can I see him, hold him and be in the presence of his love again today?” That is what first love looks like.

I could feel the atmosphere changing last night and I knew that it is just a taste of what is coming. A return to first love is coming to those who have walked with Him for many years and many new believers will come in as they fall in love with the One that the Church has fallen back in love with.

There is an atmosphere around a couple newly in love! It is alive, it is full of hopes, dreams, joy and it is single focused. When first love comes back upon His bride (His Church) in the way that I am seeing, it will a corporate atmosphere change. People will be drawn like a moth to the flame. We will run and not grow weary!

I find myself groaning in prayer often these days for a handful of things; two of them are for my heart of come into the fullness of first love once again and the second is that the motives of my heart are pure (purely devoted to Him). I believe that first love will cure the heart motives issue in many! We will do what we do because we just can’t get enough of Him and our thoughts are always on what brings joy to His heart.

Be encouraged! It’s as if the ceiling is cracking open and soon we will be under an open heaven of His manifest love. And remember; “He’s not mad about the cross!”

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His Secret Garden Is Being Unlocked In You

By Kathi Pelton

Years ago when our family still lived in California I would take long walks every morning. My route was the same each day and on that route I’d love to look at the beautiful yards that lined the streets. But there was this one house on one of the streets that had a yard that was full of weeds; overgrown and clearly never tended to. It always grabbed my attention as it stood out in such contrast to the well-kept yards all around it. One day as I passed by it I just stopped and stared at it for a very long time. I found myself lost in the potential that it had. I could tell that at one time someone had planted a flower garden within it but many years had gone by without a gardener to tend to it and now weeds choked out it’s once held beauty.

That day, as I stood there dreaming of what I’d do if it was my garden, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Kathi, every person you walk by has great potential. Within each person is a secret garden filled with beauty was created to display different aspects of My image. Will you stop and dream with Me when you see a broken person that has not been nurtured or tended to with love? They are My secret gardens that I want unlocked.”

I knew that when He said “dream with Me” that it implied prayer, seeing beyond the natural, speaking identity, sowing into them and nurturing them. I said, “Yes.”

That “yes” began a journey of seeing with new eyes. I learned to look at people through the eyes of their Creator. Not one single person was ever created outside of His image and His beauty. Not one!

My husband and I found ourselves taking teenaged boys into our home that were broken, bruised and orphaned. These boys were so damaged that it truly took a revelation of “who God created them to be” to be able to walk day after day through their anger, their depravity and the brokenness that had become their identity.

One of our boys was easily triggered by little things in everyday life. His anger would come out with such venom that we needed a divine strategy of how to calm his pain. The Lord had shown me who he was created to be and even the plans for his life. He asked me to begin to speak that beauty over him in these moments of rage. The next time this young teen was triggered I looked at him and said, “Son, that’s not who you are! You are beautiful, kind, caring…” As I began to speak to “who he was” (rather than address what he was doing), he began weeping. He would let me hold him, calm him and restore him to peace. He expected someone to tell him who he had been taught he was (angry, unwanted, hateful, stupid, etc.) but what he received was a love that called him into his true identity. Today this young man is walking in that beautiful identity! The secret garden was unlocked and tended to with love and care.

This morning as I waited before the Lord I felt two things deep on His heart; one was how His people see themselves. The second was how His people see the broken (especially in the younger generation).

Far too often even those who know the Lord view themselves through their pasts or what the natural world has taught them. They see their weeds, their thorns, their hardened soil rather than partnering with God to unlock the hidden beauty (the secret garden) of who He created them to be. It is only when we believe that we possess beauty, value, potential and great purpose that we partner with Him to see it unlocked. As long as we can’t see beyond the weeds we will lose hope and become overwhelmed by the tangled mess. But God does for us what I did for our teen boys; He speaks true identity, beauty, purpose and potential. He invites His sons and daughters into the discovery of His image within them. When we allow our ears to hear the truth we begin to be transformed.

I often say that God has truly surprised me “with me!” Before knowing the Lord I saw absolutely no beauty and no potential beyond surviving and hiding behind masks. Every time I look at what the Lord has done in my life, I truly stand in awe because my “garden” was so locked up that I didn’t even know it existed. Finding “Him in me” has been the greatest treasure hunt! If you haven’t begun to find the treasure called, “You” then it is time to go exploring with the One who created you.

We must also begin to see beyond all the false identities, the masks that block shame, the confusion, and the shock of a world that has forgotten who they are and who’s image they are created in. We must ask the Spirit to begin to reveal His true identity that is beyond what is seen or being lived out in the world around us. Then we can pray, speak life, call them forth and unlock the garden within them.

The world is full of locked gardens but finding His image in them is the key to unlocking the true beauty. Though my initial reaction to that unkept yard was to look the other way or judge it as “unwanted”; the Lord used it to unlock a call on my life to see beauty beyond the natural sight in people.

God is longing to unblock our spiritual sight to see beyond the depravity and brokenness. He longs for us to see beyond the deceit and confusion. He wants us to speak life and to declare, “That’s not who you are! You are beautiful, valued, desired, longed for and deeply loved.”

Speak it over yourself and then speak it over a world (and generation) that has forgotten who they are. It’s time to unlock the beauty!

I want to leave you with the words I hear Him saying over you and over His created ones today from Song of Songs 4,

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of leopards. You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon. Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Songs‬ ‭4:1-16‬ ‭

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He Delights In Helping You!

By Kathi Pelton

During a past season of refinement that I was going through, I had began praying prayers that were not familiar to my ears. They were prayers that resembled begging— they sounded like the voice of an orphan not a daughter. Since some of my needs during that time stemmed from my own mistakes, unbelief and “taking matters into my own hands”, I felt deserving of the burdens that I was carrying. I found myself apologizing to God constantly and agonizing over the fact that I’d made some choices that brought about personal hardships. My prayers went from “Thank you Father…” to “Please help God…”

One night while I was struggling with guilt, worry and regrets over my predicament I began apologizing once again and praying (begging) this way, “Please help me God…” Immediately the Lord interrupted me. He said, “Daughter, why are you praying like an orphan when you are a loved daughter?”

I replied, “Because I acted out of doubt and unbelief and now I’m paying the price. I knew better!”

With such love and compassion He spoke again, “When one of your children make a bad choice, even when they knew better, do you withhold love or help when they truly apologize and need your help out of their troubles?”

I answered, “No, I run to their aid and comfort their hurting hearts. I restore them to peace, to sonship and purity. I don’t think twice about it!”

He said, “Do you not know that I am far more patient with you? Do you know that My love for you far exceeds your love for your children? And do you not understand that it is My delight to help you?”

That night my prayer changed! It went from begging God for help to thanking Him that He takes delight in helping me. My heart released the heavy burden of the responsibility for my failure. When I repented I was released from the burden and Jesus took it upon Himself. I allowed the rain of His love to wash away the guilt, the shame, the regret and the orphan spirit that had taken hold of my heart. He baptized me anew in His mercy, grace and love. He restored my place as His daughter.

Whether what you are facing is by the fault of your own choices or even merely by circumstances beyond your control— know this: He takes delight in both helping you and comforting you! You are His beloved child and His greatest longing is to be near to you, comfort you and help you. He does not want you to suffer under burdens that you were not meant to carry. Just as a natural parent would carry something too heavy for their child to bear or pick them up to carry them when they are too tired to walk on, so will your Heavenly Father. He far exceeds any human love or compassion— even that of a father or mother.

I awoke this morning feeling the depths of His love and compassion for those who feel separated from Him because of the grief of their own failings or choices. He longs to take from you all that you cannot bear. He takes delight in helping you and setting you free. Turn your words from the words of a beggar back to the words of one who knows they are a loved son or daughter.

When my kids come to me feeling broken and burdened, I drop everything to do everything I can to both comfort and help them. God is doing that for you right now. The amazing thing is that He has no limits in His ability to help and He knows exactly what to do to comfort you. As a parent I am limited in my abilities— He is not! He dispatched angels on your behalf , He opens the doors of Heaven’s storehouse, He comes as Comforter, Redeemer, Deliverer and holds nothing back.

Thank Him! Thank Him that He delights in helping you! Thank Him that He loves you and has taken you as His own child! Don’t beg but go to Him knowing that He takes great delight in you.

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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Stay In The Now

Today, as I was praying, I was taken into a vision where I saw a man standing in “today” (the now) but his soul

was in yesterday and tomorrow; he was absent from where he was actually standing— in the NOW. His focus on yesterday was keeping him stuck in regrets and disappointments and his obsession with tomorrow was drawing him into heavy burdens, dread, and fear. As I looked at him I could see the Lord calling to him to come and enjoy the day He had planned for him; a day filled with grace, joy, love and peace. It was a table set before him with such detail and love. But, he had become so accustomed to not living in the “now” or even in the day that the Lord had given him that he had lost his peace and his joy. He had not enjoyed the delicacies that were set before him for a very long time.

Then I saw the Lord go into his yesterday and wash away the pain, the regrets and the disappointments that had clung to him like a cold, wet garment.

Then I saw the Lord go into His tomorrow and He sent forth angels to prepare the way to bless and prosper him in all his ways. He then washed the dread, worry and fear from him with a peace that surpassed this man’s understanding.

Tomorrow’s table had no provision upon it because the Lord had not set it for him yet.

Then He wrapped him in a clean, white garment and drew him back into today. As this man left his past and entrusted his tomorrow to the Lord’s perfect care he was able to enter into the amazing grace that the Lord had set for him that day. This man began to laugh with joy. Relief from the sorrows of yesterday and the burdens of tomorrow flooded his soul while peace, rest, and a lightness filled him like a long, deep breath.

The Lord is resetting those who have been dealing with great anxiety, depression, and fear. Allow Him to minister to the pains of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow while drawing you into the beauty of today.

This is a work of His Spirit that He is doing even now. Stop and take the time to be with Him; allowing Him to do this deep work within you. There is such peace and rest in abiding trust. There is amazing grace that sets you free from having to figure it all out in your own strength. There is joy in the surrender as you put your faith in His perfect care.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

STAY IN THE NOW!

Ask the Lord to remove your soul from the regrets of yesterday and the burdens of tomorrow. He has gone before you to prepare a future and hope for you so you do not need to worry.

He has prepared a table for you today and it has everything you need for the day. Does a mother set out food for her family that is to be eaten tomorrow? No, it will spoil if it’s set out before meal time. She only puts out what is for now. God does the same for you. You were never supposed to live on yesterday’s spoiled food or sit at tomorrow’s table that has not yet been set for you yet. There is so much to enjoy today—enter into your now!

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Has God Said?

by Kathi Pelton

There are three words that the enemy has not stopped using to abort God’s purposes, tempt God’s people and undermine God’s truth since as far back as the Garden of Eden,

“Has God said?”

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

These three words brought doubt and that doubt brought unbelief and the unbelief brought forth disobedience. These three words changed mankind and introduced sin to what had been pure. I can quite honestly say that I have been tempted on many occasions to make a wrong decision based on the battle that comes when the enemy speaks these words.

My husband and I are currently in one of the biggest transitions of our lives. It is our conviction that the Lord has asked us to do something that will change so much in our lives (we will announce it soon) but the moment that the decision to obey the Lord was made, the enemy came like a serpent in the garden with those three words, “Has God said?”

The problem is that those three words are just the opening of a flood of other words and accusations that make you wonder if you truly have heard. It is the doorway to fears, doubts and anxious thoughts. “Has God truly said?”

But we can put our confidence in these words from our precious Saviour,

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

The voice that questions God’s people saying, “Has God said.” Immediately brings confusion, anxiety, doubt and turmoil. Yet, when God speaks, even to correct or adjust, it brings peace, freedom, stability and resolve.

In our personal transition we have had people come and say, “Are you sure?” Or, even provide an altered interpretation for what we are hearing. These are good and spiritual people who love us but it has been a test for our souls to see if we will hear and obey by standing firm and following Him. We listen to counsel, advice, the voices of friends and family but we the weigh and discern it to the voice of our beloved Shepherd.

His voice brings a deep conviction of “Yes” but the “Has God said?” voice seeks to shatter your conviction and alter your path and actions.

I was telling a friend today that the moment we made our final decision to obey this radical change that we are transitioning into, those three dreadful words came like a wet blanket or bucket of ice water in our face. I literally wanted to scream like a woman in the midst of the most intense part of birth, “MISSION ABORT!” (not abort a baby but abort our decision!) I entertained the “Has God Said?” voice just long enough to make me want to run the other direction and choose the familiar, the easy and the known over this unfamiliar, hard and strange new land.

I’m only sharing our current story because your story may be similar. My mistake was allowing my thoughts to take the bait of “Has God Said?” and actually doubt my ability to hear His voice which brought me into an entire day of emotional turmoil and questioning.

Don’t take the bait! God will speak to you and He will be sure to “keep you from falling.” You will hear, make your plans and it is God who then will order your steps. When the enemy comes to question you so that you doubt what you’ve heard, panic and fear enters in; you can be assured that this is not the voice of your God.

So, the one thing that I can assure you that God IS NOT saying is, “Has God said?”

There is great wisdom in the counsel of trusted friends and leaders! We have been walking with many during our journey and it is an amazing safety net. Yet, you may get different opinions even in the midst of trusted spiritual counsel. In the end you must follow His voice and put your confidence in the fact that YOU KNOW HIS VOICE!

There has not been one big transition in our lives where we did not face the enemy asking us this dreaded question. It should be our sure sign that God has said! Don’t compromise your conviction or your “yes” even though the offer to taste the fruit the serpent is tempting you with looks appealing. Especially when what God is asking has great personal sacrifice attached to it. The temptation to abort the mission or change your answer can seem very appealing in the moment.

To wrap this up; if you are hearing, “Has God said?” and it brings doubt, fear, rationalization and temptation to compromise then you can know that is not the voice of God. His voice will lead so that you can follow. He brings peace, a deep knowing and forward movement that is almost involuntary because it comes from your yielded and surrendered heart. It feels involuntary but it truly is not because you voluntarily said, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”

“God, right now I pray for all of those who are in transition and I pray for all who are stepping out in faith in response to the sound of your voice. I decree peace over their hearts and minds; the peace of Christ. I pray and decree an unprecedented favor over them as they follow you. I pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to rest upon them and upon all who are affected by their transition. I silence the voice of the serpent that questions their ability to hear their Shepherd. The Lord rebuke you, Satan. I pray for their ears to hear and for the crooked paths to be straight, the valleys to be raised up and the mountains to be lowered before them. God, I pray that you would increase their faith, their trust and their wisdom. Thank you for your faithfulness to speak and to lead your sheep. You don’t let your sheep go astray! Your Shepherd’s rod comforts your people as we know that you will use it to keep your flock on the right path. Lord, by your power break the confusion and turmoil off of those who heard the question, ‘Has God said?’ and it robbed their peace and their joy in the journey. Break off the doubt, fear and unbelief that was attached to the question and has now affected their souls. Restore to them the joy, peace and intimacy with you in every step of their journey. In the name above every name, Jesus Christ. Amen”

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We will be announcing our news next week. This transition will be quite costly financially. If you would like to sow into our “Yes” go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/ and press the DONATE button.

You can also give through Cash App: $kathipelton

Or PayPal: https://www.PayPal.Me/inscribe

All donations are tax deductible.

Rejoicing and Weeping Together: This Is Family

By Kathi Pelton

This week families all over our nation gathered around tables to share in the celebration of Thanksgiving. As I viewed many pictures of families smiling together I thought of the “stories behind the smiles” that often are much different than what a social media post relays.

This past week one family that we know lost their wife and mom in a car accident. Another, spent the day remembering a child that they lost recently and still another faced pending cancer treatments. Behind our family photos we are feeling the ache as we prepare for some family members to move 3000 miles away, one child was not present and is facing homelessness, one has just fallen in love and can’t stop smiling, and one couple going through the pains of infertility. A true mix of joy and pain.

There is always incredible beauty and deep felt pain in the background of every picture, every life and every family. No one is exempt from the joy or the pain. But what makes it all worth it is that we are a part of a family. We rejoice together, we weep together and we risk experiencing pain to experience the joy and beauty.

Why did Jesus go to the cross? It wasn’t to give a “hero of the day” social media post…it was to make a way for His family to be together for all eternity. Family was the “joy set before Him” as He endured the cross. Before the creation of man and woman; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit weren’t bored or unhappy but they knew that making a family in their image would be good! When sin, pain and heartbreak touched that family they knew that no sacrifice was too great to gain them back.

This is what God is still longing for! His mission has not changed. He wants to bring back all the sons and daughters who have gone astray or who are not experiencing family. There are still members of the family missing from the picture! He rejoices with the family gathered around Him and yet there is deep pain for the ones that are missing. There are stories behind the smiles that compel Him to send His sons and daughters to leave everything to try to fulfill the longing to see His family united as one.

Our family moves many times and the majority of those moves have been to go where His heart is calling us to in order to fulfill His longing for the family in that city and nation. This is the story for many who have said, “Here I am, send me.”

God loves family!! He is the One who sets the lonely in family. If you are lonely then there is family for you! They are all across the world and waiting to receive you. Don’t sit alone…find family! Wherever we have been there has always been a family there to be a part of. Is it a perfect family! No, there is pain, brokenness, imperfections and dysfunction of some sort within every natural and spiritual family but there is love, joy and beauty to be found if you’re willing to embrace the “weeping and the rejoicing.” You can’t have one without the other.

As we enter into the holiday season, let’s remember that perfection isn’t the goal…family is. So sit with the broken and comfort them, hear the voices of the ones who feel unheard, hug the ones who feel unloved and ache with the one who is struggling to find hope. Then and only then will joy come and rejoicing come. May the story behind the smiles in pictures be one that says, “Through it all I have been well loved!” That is what makes family.

Let us love well! As we finish this year and prepare for a new year let us strive to be more present with the one standing in front of us, let’s listen more attentively, love more deeply, give more readily and “feel” more sensitively.

A social media post is merely the cover photo of a book that tells a much longer story. It’s a story of joy and pain, successes and failures, gains and losses, tragedies and triumphs. The story is what makes true family; not the picture. Our God isn’t looking for the perfect family, He’s merely wanting every person ever created to be a part of His family. Let’s see His dream come true by loving well…in weeping and rejoicing we can truly be a family.

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November and December are the months of the year that most faith-based ministries experience a large decline in giving. Will you stand with us by making these months known as the best giving months of the year? To give a gift to this ministry, go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/

It’s A New Day

by Kathi Pelton

Some days are hard! For me, yesterday was one of those days. From the moment I woke up things just went wrong. To top it off, my emotions were all over the place and I should have stopped and taken a long walk or locked myself in my closet to pray. “Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve!” was my theme of the day.

But…today is a new day! If you woke up breathing this morning then you can be sure that it’s a new day, new beginning and new opportunity to thank God, smile and know that God’s faithfulness didn’t change during your “bad day!”

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”” Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-24‬ ‭

As I went to bed last night, pondering my “list of woes” from the day, I decreed aloud, “You are forever faithful! Thank you for this day because Your faithfulness covers every part of it.”

Each day we begin in mercies afresh and surrounded by His absolute faithfulness. His mercy and faithfulness go with us throughout each moment. They are never absent from us— He is never absent from us. Our moods change, our circumstances change and people around us change; but He is constant! He never changes and never shifts in His ways and promises. His love endures forever.

So, if yesterday was not your favorite day then know this, “Today is a new day with mercies renewed!” Begin it with expectation of joy and singing songs of thanksgiving. The verses from the Book of Lamentations above (3:22-24) go on to say this,

“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.” Lamentations‬ ‭3:25‬ ‭

Enter today in complete dependency upon Him. Search for Him throughout your day; sometimes He is in clear sight but some days you have to find Him behind the distractions that come to block your view. Whatever was brought from your “bad day” into your “new day” commit it to the faithfulness of God and ask for His mercies to cover it. He is with you…great is His faithfulness!

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Sow into your new day! If this ministry has been a blessing to you, consider supporting us with a financial gift. To give go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/

Do You Desire Blessings? Here Is The Key to Experiencing Abundant Life and Blessings

by Kathi Pelton

I remember the day as a young woman when I heard an audible voice that shouted over me, “Daughter, choose life!”

I had come from a very difficult childhood and as a young Christian I still had propensity towards self-harm and addiction. As I grew in my walk with Jesus as my Savior, I somehow continued to drag these things from my former life into my new life. My mind needed renewing and my choices needed to change. Though there was no “obviously outward blatant sin”; what was present was many agreements with death, with lies and with the identity that the enemy had scripted for my life. It was hidden sin that denied Christ’s redemption in my life.

When I finally realized that I could not thrive and grow in Christ with these agreements and behaviors I invited the Holy Spirit to transform me into who He created me to be.

One of the issues that comes with living in agreement with an identity scripted by the enemy is that it will cause you to compromise. Lies, self-hatred, victim mentalities and shame will lead you to drink from polluted cisterns. These deceptions must be fed and “nurtured” to remain in the life of the believer. I fed these lies through bulimia, negative self-talk, self-harm, shame, etc.

In the midst of my early years in Christ I would spend hours a day reading the scriptures aloud. I prayed constantly and only listened to worship music. I was battling for Jesus to have His way in my life but I had not yet “chosen life!” Often after spending hours in prayer and the Word I’d return to the idols of my past and end up throwing up all night and dwelling in thoughts of self hatred and shame. It was so confusing and defeating.

The day that I heard the words, “Daughter, choose life!” became my turnaround day. In the midst of choosing Jesus I was entertaining and believing things that were partnered with a spirit of death…death to true identity, destiny and blessings.

I knew that I had read the words, “Choose Life”, somewhere in the Bible so I searched it out. I found the words in Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:15-20,

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

I had crossed into the land of promise when I asked Jesus into my life but I brought Egypt with me. I was living like a slave in the land of freedom. I was bowing down to the idols of fears, lies, addictions that were continually usurping my freedom and kept me a “captive in Canaan.”

Then the Lord led me the the verses in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 that say,

““Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.”

‭‭I not only needed to choose life but I needed to choose blessings! It was time to believe that He is who He said He is and to believe that “He makes all things new!” It was time to let go of the spirit of death that was killing truth and my identity in Christ. It was time to stop cursing my life while worshiping the Lord. I could no longer continue to bow to the lies that had become more powerful than the voice of my Beloved.

The day that I made a choice for life and for blessing I intentionally put the curses and death under my feet and under the blood of Jesus (and all the attributes, actions and beliefs attached to them). I began to walk in truth which meant that I had to walk away from the habits and actions associated with death and curses. I no longer feasted at the table of the enemy but began to eat from the table of the Lord each day (refusing the constant invitation to return to the foods of shame that I had developed an appetite for). I began to obey the Lord and repented of mixture and idolatry (idolatry for me was to bow daily to something that was not Christ!)

Immediately my life began to change and transform. The blessings that opened before me were almost too many to comprehend. Doors opened before me, honor came like a flood upon me, favor surrounded me and blessings overtook me. Within two years of that moment of “choosing life” I found myself traveling internationally and walking in the identity that the Lord has intended for me…His original intent for my life was being lived out.

If you are struggling with not seeing the promised blessings upon your life; perhaps ask yourself if you are choosing life and blessings or if you have agreed with the lies associated with death and curses. If so, there is no shame but there is a choice that you need to make. Choose life! Choose blessings! Choose Christ and His original intent for your life. Cast down every lie that goes against the Word of God and begin to walk in truth. Truth will align your steps with obedience and will stop compromise. It will release life, favor and blessings that cannot be contained upon you!

Today is the day of life and of blessings!

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If this ministry has been a blessing to your life will you prayerfully consider giving a financial gift of support? The holiday season is often a difficult time for support based ministries and your gift would be greatly appreciated. To give go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/

Also, go check out our new hardbound Christmas book that will become tradition to read with your family through the month of December. It will bring you back to the manger, back to the star of promise and back to Jesus as the reason for the season!

The Sounds of Christmas by Jeffrey & Kathi Pelton https://amzn.to/2NDmWoS