Sunday, November 19, 2017

An Irony to be Thankful For

Thanksgiving in the USA is a traditional national holiday, celebrated by American families since the year 1863.  This will be our very first Thanksgiving in the US, and we are so excited to celebrate it together with some dear friends this week.  

Since I love learning about how things first came about, I found out some interesting facts about how this holiday first began, and I wanted to share them with you.  History tells how a ship called the Mayflower, filled with English families who were desperate to start a new life, in a new land, dropped anchor at Cape Cod in September of 1620.  Many of these families left their homes and all things familiar, to escape religious persecution.  They gave up everything for the freedom to serve and worship their God as their hearts longed to.  When they landed at Cape Cod, they realised they were too far north from where they had intended to be. So, they sailed on, and about a month later, crossed the Massachusetts Bay, and arrived at Plymouth. Sadly, they were not prepared for the cruel, harsh winter ahead of them, and not many survived the cold, the scurvy, and the hunger.   

But everything changed the very next spring, when two native Indians befriended the survivors, and taught them how to cultivate the land, and grow crops that would nourish them.  They also introduced them to the local tribe of Wampanoag Indians, who helped in all manner of ways to respectfully ‘tame’ the land and cause it to flourish for their survival.  That  very next autumn, in 1621, those early Plymouth colonists, together with their Wampanoag friends, celebrated their very first Autumn Harvest, Thanksgiving feast!  It lasted three days, and made such an impression on the colonists that they decided to make it an annual event!  

For years, the different colonies celebrated Thanksgiving at different times, until the year of 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, where President Abraham Lincoln, declared it a national holiday to be celebrated every November.  And so the tradition continues, families across the continent celebrate this holiday together, apparently, many using it as an opportunity to be thankful for each other and the life of freedom they are able to enjoy in their great nation.

Ironically, one of the native Indians that first befriended those early colonists, helped them, and introduced them to the Wampanoag tribe, spoke English.  That’s because years before, he had been captured, sold into slavery and taken to England, where he learnt to survive in that harsh land, and speak the language that was so foreign to him.  Now, that very same land and language belonged to the people who were at his mercy.  Yet he didn’t hesitate to act in kindness and selflessly share all he knew to help them make their home in their newfound land of freedom. 

No matter which country we live in, there is always a reason for us to grateful.  And who’s to say that our one act of kindness towards someone else, could be the very thing that opens up a world of freedom and opportunity for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love,

Jenny





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pave Your Path of Life and Peace

Hello everyone,

Did you know that the way you think directly affects the way you live?  If you are a child of God who has chosen to live by the truth of His Word, you probably know all about this.  It is, after all, a basic foundational truth of faith.  But knowing about a truth and actually experiencing its reality in our lives are two completely different things.  I want to talk to you today about how this truth really does affect our every day lives and paves a sure way for our future!

I have realised that when my mind is kept full of the Word of God, I begin to see things and think about things from His perspective. Over the past couple of months I found myself continuously in the Word, out of necessity.  It was over our scheduled trip to South Africa, where ministry appointments and live television broadcasts were booked and scheduled day in and day out for six continuous weeks.  What a blast!  It kept me in a place where I had to have my mind prepared and saturated with the Word of God.  The magnificent result was the flow of life and peace that Word produced inside of me!   Romans 8:6 says: “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].”  

Did you know that a healthy mind that is filled with God’s supernatural life and peace, supernaturally influences every other part of our lives and produces an atmosphere of favour and blessing in and around us?  This is a miracle I absolutely love and delight in!  To think that having my soul, which is my intellect, my emotions and my will, filled with the truth of God’s Word, is what will start a ripple effect of God’s blessing and favour to flow into all that concerns me, is absolutely wonderful!   Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  

And that is exactly what I began to experience.  I actually felt worry and fear break off of me and peace and joy make a victorious path for me.  Everything I did had God’s touch of blessing and favour all over it.  I slept better than I had in months and my level of physical and mental strength amazed me.  I was able to fit in and do all that I needed to do by a supernatural grace and strength that didn’t just astound me, but it astounded those who know me too.  
When we deliberately choose to think and meditate on the thoughts God thinks about us, from His Word, we pave a way for that truth to become our reality.  What we think influences the words we speak and the way we operate in life.  Whether we realise it or not, each action we take in life, causes some kind of reaction.  So if God’s life and peace are actively at work inside us, and that same life and peace begins to radiate out of us and influences the way we live.  We can expect a supernatural reaction to follow.  Proverbs 12:14 says, “From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hands shall come back to him [as a harvest].”

I want to encourage you to deliberately step up your level of commitment to spending time in God’s Word.  I have no doubt that your experience will be as life giving as mine!  Mark 4:24 promises that the attention we give to the Word, will pour a quality of excellence straight back into our lives!   “And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure[of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure[of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”

What are you waiting for?  Let’s feast our minds and hearts on His truth and watch the supernatural life and peace that comes from it flood every area of our lives!

Much love,

Jenny
















Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Life Changer

Hello everyone,

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people hear the truth of God’s Word and having that ‘light switch on’ in their eyes when they understand it in a way that is meaningful to them.  It makes me want to dance and shout for joy every time!  And if I get so much delight out of seeing that connection being made, where God’s Words of life drop from their minds to their hearts, can you just imagine how the Lord must feel?  Especially since His Word is Him!  It carries His perspective, His thoughts, His Life and wisdom!  When we get excited about the Word and respond to it as a precious treasure, knowing it will enrich our lives in every way, it’s the very same thing as us getting excited to receive the Lord Himself, and have Him change our lives forever!

I’ve been reading a book called The Simplicity of Healing by Dr. Sandra G. Kennedy.  What intrigued me about this book and encouraged me to ‘sink my teeth into it’, is the inscription bellow the title of the book that says, ‘A practical guide to releasing the miracle power of God’s Word’.  I know that God’s Word is filled with His power, life and supernatural peace.  Many Christians do.  But the key to releasing its power into our daily lives, begins with the way we approach it.  Reading God’s Word as an obligation has very little benefit.  But approaching it with a hunger for its truth and an earnest expectation for its life to be released into us is an entirely different thing.  When we take the time, and make the effort to understand it, God’s Word will ALWAYS produce the powerful, supernatural force of FAITH that will change our lives forever.

That’s because faith steps us into a realm where nothing is impossible! Faith is the spiritual currency that enables us to operate in the dimension of the supernatural, and have access to every single promise and provision God has provided for us in His Word.

Look at what Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.  Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

When we give God’s Word our attention, it will produce unshakable faith inside of us.  The Word’s of God bring life to anyone who FINDS them.

That implies we must read the Word with the intention of finding something in it.  Like searching for a precious treasure that will enrich our lives, expecting to find it when we search for it with an eager, hungry heart.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].”

One of the wonderful qualities the Word of God has, is its ability to become addictive to anyone who finds its truth.  Oh boy, am I experiencing that first hand!  The more time I spend in the Word, studying it, meditating on it, writing about it, speaking about it, the more I feel the need to get more of it into my life.  I really believe that’s because God’s Words bring us an INFUSION OF HIS LIFE!  And when we find that life, it heals, restores and transforms us.  

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.”.

The day I decided to make God’s Word the ‘mirror’ where I could see the very image and life of God being reflected into my own life, was the day I embraced His truth and welcomed its transforming process in my life. I know the way I look today is different from the way I looked the last time I was in God’s Word. I don’t just look different, I speak and act differently too. Each time I embrace His Words of Life, I take on a new aspect of His nature.  I gain more of His wisdom and walk more in His light.  I experience more of His provision, enjoy a deeper portion of His grace and see His goodness and mercy shadow my every step, a little further than before.

Oh the joy of knowing God in His Word!  It will change our lives forever!
Spend time with your life changer today!

All my love,


Jenny

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Misplaced Trust

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I was reading a story in Mark 10:17-24, about the encounter between a rich, young man and Jesus. I have to say, even though I’ve read about this encounter before and heard others speak about it, for the first time, I found myself drawn to it, and wanted to write to you about it.

Let’s see what we can assume about this young man. He was probably raised in a wealthy, highly respected, Jewish family, because He lets us know he had an excellent Jewish education and the Bible tells us he had many wealthy possessions. I assume he must have heard about Jesus by reputation, because when he greets Him, he addresses Jesus as ‘Teacher’ or in some translations, ‘Rabbi’. That in itself is not unusual, but those who knew Jesus usually called Him Lord. And He immediately tells Jesus He is ‘good’. In the original translation, the word good used here, refers to being morally perfect, as one who knows and flawlessly observes to do the law of Moses. I can’t help imagine that he said this to Jesus based on the stories he had heard of how Jesus, since a child, would spend hours in the synagogues, teaching and explaining the ancient scrolls of scripture to the leaders and Pharisees. The Bible says they were all amazed at His wisdom and understanding of the scriptures. And He grew in stature with man and God.

After he respectfully complimented Jesus on being ‘good’, he immediately asked if Jesus could tell him how he could have eternal life. There seemed to be a certain urgency in this young man’s question, especially since he fell on his knees before Jesus asking Him. You get the feeling he was imploring Him for an answer that he was certain, only a person with such a high reputation for the knowledge and understanding of the scriptures could answer.

Jesus responds by saying, “Why do you call Me [essentially and perfectly morally] good? There is no one [essentially and perfectly morally] good—except God alone...”. Now we know that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He was without sin. He also usually made no secret of Who He was whenever He taught the people. So why this statement? I’m sure there are other explanations different to mine, but I wonder if He was testing to see the true heart of this young man. It was obvious this was a conversation that meant a great deal to him. But somehow, I think Jesus was probing this young man to see if he perceived Jesus to be just a well known teacher of the scriptures, or the giver of salvation Himself - the Son of God.
 
In the next breath, Jesus addresses the young man on his passion, by saying, “You know the commandments: Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” To which the young man is confident to answer that he not only guards the law of Moses, but observes to do what it says and does everything in his power to not violate it. Something he proudly, and passionately admits doing since he was a boy. Ahaha! So now Jesus has brought the conversation to a pivotal point.

It’s obvious this young man has a deep seated, high regard for the scriptures, and he has been diligent to apply every law to his life as much as he humanly can. This seemed to give him a sense of confidence and self-righteousness, and he was so poised and ready to hear this renowned teacher, tell him his passageway to heaven was secured because of it. And for a brief moment, I’m sure it looked as if Jesus might just do that, because the Bible says He looked upon the young man and loved him.

But alas! The next four words Jesus spoke unravelled that young man, right there on the spot. He said, “You lack one thing...”. 

And then he proceed to tell the young man to sell all he had and give the money away to the poor. Then to come and follow Him - to walk the same life Jesus walked. What on earth? Well, that young man went on his way completely distraught. And we see Jesus explaining to his equally confused disciples, “With what difficulty will those who possess wealth and keep on holding it enter the kingdom of God!...how hard it is for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God!”

Could it be, that the riches Jesus was referring to here were more than just wealthy possessions, but the mere head knowledge of Him and the scriptures too? Do you suppose, that if the young man knew the person of Jesus, instead of just knowing about Him, things may have turned out differently? If he could just make the switch from an intellectual knowledge of the ‘Teacher’, to one that involved knowing Him with His heart, He would have understood that getting rid of all his possessions, really didn’t matter. Once he pledged His life to following the Son of God, He would never know lack or be without, ever again.

But this young man was not willing to shift his trust and confidence onto truly knowing the person of Jesus, and off his false sense of security based on his intellectual knowledge of the scriptures, and his material wealth. Even though his head was full of the Word of God, it had not reached the place of his heart; preventing him from having his life eternally enriched.

I wonder how many of us need reminding of the danger of our misplaced security and confidence?

Love you dearly,

Jenny




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Your Powerful, Supernatural, Inner Strength

Hello everyone,

If you are feeling discouraged in any way, or you feel tired and weary from the stress or weight of your circumstances, then today’s message is for you.  Perhaps you are facing a ‘mountain’ of some sort, one that seems too overwhelming to even contemplate conquering right now, and you have no idea how you will ever get the strength to do it. No matter what battle or scenario you are facing, I want to remind you of what the Word of God says about you and how you can draw from His powerful, supernatural inner strength to energise and empower you to rise up, face that problem and  stand strong in the victory Jesus has already secured for you.

In the book of Philippians 4:13, Paul writes, "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]."

Do you notice how Paul says he has strength for all things, is ready and equal to anything, and is self-sufficient not because of anything he has done, but because he is simply IN CHRIST?

Ephesians 6:10 says, “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].”

In this scripture, Paul is telling us again, that the strength we need to overcome anything in this life is drawn from our union with Jesus Christ.  We are EMPOWERED by His Spirit that lives inside us.

1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “whoever is united to the Lord, is one spirit with Him.”  One translation says our spirit is laminated to His Spirit.  And since we know that all the power of God is wrapped up and locked up in the Spirit of Christ, and our spirit man is also wrapped up and one with His Spirit; we can draw a logical conclusion, that the power of God and our own spirits are in the very same place - the Spirit of Christ, Who lives in us.  

Which means, that strength you need to face whatever plagues your mind today, is already inside of you.  All you need to do is draw from it.

Take a look at what Ephesians 1:19 says, "And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,"

The key lies in these three words: KNOW, UNDERSTAND and BELIEVE!  Only when we know what the Word says about us, and understand how it works in our lives, and believe it’s true, can we actually walk in the reality of it.  Drawing from God’s strength and living victoriously doesn’t just happen automatically.  It’s true, the hard part is already done through Jesus and the finished work of the cross.  Our part is the easy part - we just have to spend time in His Word educating ourselves as to what He has done for us and made available to us.  Then when we understand it, by actually having a mental picture of how it can be appropriated in our lives, and believe it, we can walk in it. 

I want to encourage you today to spend time with the Holy Spirit in the Word of God.  Meditate on the scriptures I have written above.  The ask the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding, a mental picture of Him infusing His Mighty inner strength into your body, your mind, and your emotions, from your spirit, where He dwells.  As you open up your heart to receive that fresh flow of supernatural strength, believe that it will do exactly what the Word says it will do.  It will empower, energise, refresh and revitalise you to stand strong and overcome anything you are facing today.

All my love,

Jenny

Ps. Here are a few more scriptures for you to meditate on, as you reach out and receive your powerful, supernatural, inner strength by faith.

Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Psalm 31:24, “And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”


1 Peter 5:10, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mercy - The Game Changer

Just recently, friends of ours had their home broken into. Thankfully they were not home during the incident, and very little was taken, not even food, but the damage done to their property and belongings was horrible.  The thieves broke huge plains of window glass to get in.  They cut themselves badly in the process.  As a result, everything they rummaged through was soaked in blood.  Bedding, clothes, the carpets and kitchen counters had so much blood, leaving stains that just can’t be removed.  I have to tell you, this really upset me.  I went straight to Lord about it.  I was angry at the senseless, unnecessary crime against our friends. Just thinking about it made me want to see JUSTICE!

 I have to ask you a question, what is your reaction towards someone who intentionally does you or someone you love, wrong?  Suppose it wasn’t a robbery like my friends suffered, but you, or your loved ones were treated  unfairly or were on the receiving end of the actions of a mean-spirited person. Oh my, there are so many scenarios we can think of where we could be mistreated or hurt by others.  And I’m pretty sure, our first reaction would be shock and hurt, certainly disappointment.  That would make perfect sense. But today, I want to talk to you about a different response we can have when we take our angry, disappointed hearts that cry out for JUSTICE to the Lord, concerning our offenders.

  Now, I have to smile at this thought, because when I’m alone with the Lord, I always feel free to ‘bare my all’ before Him.  Maybe it’s because I know He doesn’t judge me, no matter how ugly the true feelings of my soul appear.  But what makes me laugh at myself is the fact that as soon as I’m in His presence, my heart is exposed to His influence.  This means He is going to show me things from His perspective, which is ALWAYS a ‘game changer’.

Just like all of you, there have been times where I have cried out to the Lord for JUSTICE to be done for something that was simply WRONG and INJUST.  And in each instance, the Lord showed me a better response, actually, the best response.  The response of MERCY.

Now before you get upset, or stop reading this letter, let me explain what I’ve learnt about MERCY, and how it destroys the work and intent of the real enemy in our lives.


MERCY is part of God’s nature.  It’s in His character to be merciful. I looked up the definition of MERCY in the Word and the dictionary.  It means, having compassion and kindness toward the miserable and afflicted.   It also means readiness to help, to spare, to forgive.  And this one sums it up beautifully: Mercy is compassion and forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

I should also mention that I’ve realized, as long as we are tied to this physical world in our thinking and actions, we can’t tap into the supernatural grace and provision God has made available for us.

God has always shown me His mercy, especially when I deserved to see His justice.  And as much as He extends His mercy to me, He extends it to those who don’t even know Him.  Luke 6:35b, says, “He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.”  No matter what we or anyone else does, the Bible says that God longs to pardon, not punish.

God’s MERCY is very great, and since He lives in us, our spirits carry His MERCY too.  That’s why in Luke 6:36, we are told, “So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].”

So, what if we decided to pray for His MERCY instead of JUSTICE when it comes to those who wrong us?  I recently came across something Kenneth Copeland wrote, in Faith to Faith, A Daily Guide to Victory. He pointed out that instead of praying against those who wrong us, we would be praying for them, when we pray for God’s MERCY on them.  We would be praying against the devil on their behalf.  Praying that the devil’s hold on them would be broken and that they be drawn into the light and love of God instead.  Oh my goodness, that would certainly throw the kingdom of darkness into chaos.  What was intended to steal our peace and joy, and keep the offenders in the devil’s evil grip, would completely backfire!  

The next time you find yourself about to ask the Lord for JUSTICE, take a moment to consider asking for MERCY instead, I guarantee, it’ll be a real game changer!

Love you all,

Jenny

Sunday, October 8, 2017

You Are Not Alone

Today, I want to assure you, that no matter what you are facing, you are not alone.  The Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 6:17, that the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.  What an amazing comfort to know The Holy Spirit Himself is living inside us.  He is our teacher and personal guide, a constant help and companion.  He is the One who will always stand by us, to comfort and lead us to a place of safety in Him.  

The really exciting part is when we learn to be in tune with Him, to train the ear of our hearts to hear His calm, sure voice speaking into our spirits.  Thats when our spirits relay His promptings into our minds.  It comes like a sudden, new thought that we know is from Him, and not our own, because it holds a sense of clarity and peace that resonates right through our souls.  For me, it can sometimes be a simple knowing that I need to forgive someone, or an inner warning to ‘hold my tongue’ when I’m tempted to speak negative words.  Many times, I feel Him prompting me to stop worrying and focus on the things I’m so grateful for.  

The more we choose to turn our thoughts towards the Lord throughout the day, we will find Him continuously encouraging and reminding us of what His Word says about us.  We all have times of feeling frustrated when we don’t understand why certain things turn out the way they do.  That’s when we should press in even more.  It’s in those times we can actually sense Him encouraging us to talk it out with Him, not just to get it ‘off our chests’, but to actually have Him speak to us.  That is so satisfying because sometimes He answers with one whisper of assurance that He is in control, and that simple trust is our only requirement.  Other times, He reminds us of a truth from His Word that has remarkable relevance to the situation.   There are even times that prove a little more painful, because He reveals some or other issues we seem to have allowed to creep into our hearts and minds.   I suppose it’s like having our own personal life-coach, just so much better, because His love and tenderness towards us is always, undeniably, the most prevalent emotion we sense and tangibly feel when He speaks into our hearts.  In Romans 5:5, it says the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts.  And we experience that unstoppable, unconquerable love that never fails, flowing from His heart into ours.  And it really does drive out all fear. 



I am always confident and aware of the fact that the Holy Spirit within us, speaks truth with hope, and that brings us peace.  It’s His gentle but sure working inside us.  This is what Jesus spoke about in John 15, when He urges us to live in Him, so that He can live in us and cause us to bear much fruit.  Verse 3 says, “You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you.”  Every prompting the Holy Spirit speaks into your spirit, that you pay attention to and abide by, is His work within you, cleansing and pruning you, to bear much fruit.  That fruit is evidence of His presence being at work in your life.  It shows the world around you that no matter what storm is raging, you have a sure, inner peace that guards your mind, and a supernatural joy that gives you tremendous strength of character.  He reminds you that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and that in Him, you are safe and secure.  In all that you have to do today, I urge you to turn your ear to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside of you.  Let Him be the truth that guides you and the One to remind you that through Him, all things are possible, and that you are not alone.