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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Dreams and Visions" By Tom Doyle

"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me."
Isaiah 65:1

I received an advance copy of this book from BookSneeze in return for my unbiased review.  The thoughts expressed in this review are entirely my own and I received no other remuneration for it. 
In this incredible and awe-inspiring book, author Tom Doyle with Greg Webster take the reader on a fast-paced adventure through several personal stories of Muslims who have experienced Jesus firsthand in dreams and visions.  There is a great move of the Spirit in the Muslim community, numerous people are being visited with dreams and visions of Jesus. These dreams and visions are culminating in salvation in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world for Christianity.  It is far too easy to become complacent in our faith when possessing it does not threaten our lives and well-being.  These converts face persecution and many times death in the "Honor Killing" environment of the Muslim world.  Tom Doyle seamlessly melds adventure and information in this book as he explains the very complicated religious dynamic of this area of the world. 
The encompassing love that the recipients of these encounters experience is a hallmark of this phenomena. On pages 104-105 of "Dreams and Visions" Doyle recounts a young mother's experience, "The Man's eyes dazzled Jamilla.  She stared as He stepped close and wrapped powerful arms around her shoulders.  White folds from the arms of His robe draped her body.  "Jamilla, they love you because I love you."  As with any religious experience one should compare it against scripture and not blindly accept anything.  We know that there is an enemy who is a deceiver.  Doyle includes an Appendix entitled, "Real or Fake? A Biblical Test for Dreams and Visions" which addresses this issue.
"Dreams and Visions" is an eye-opening book regarding the spiritual work that God is doing in the Muslim world.  In places that conventional evangelism is not able to penetrate, God is infusing His Spirit.  I would recommend the reading of this book to any Christian, as it is a manifestation of The Great Commission, and an example God's unfathomable love for all mankind.  Please pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ as they face persecution and death for their faith.
Reverend Patti Harrison

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Here Today

"The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more."
Psalm 103:15,16
The most seemingly mundane moments of our lives may very well become the most poignant.  Dragging myself out to the grocery store last week, I would have never imagined that I would experience anything but a long line at the register and possibly the annoyance of a price check.  I ran into an old friend and asked how she had been.  Expecting a rote, "Fine how are you?" I was saddened to hear that a young member of her family was terminally ill with cancer, in Hospice care and expected to pass at any time.  I knew that sharing my experience with her and God's comfort and support through it all would be helpful to her.  There is that moment when you think, "Do I really want to get into this in public next to the dog food aisle?  Of course I did. 
Our lives are like a vapor.  A passing blip on the fabric of time.  Psalm 103:15,16 speaks of this truth, "The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more" (NIV).  We truly have no assurance of how long we have on this planet.  One thing is certain and that is our Creator's love for us.  We, all of us, live in a fallen world and due to this fact our spirits are in need of redemption.  Few things in life truly make sense to our mortal brains:  the death of a child, evil, tragedy and war.  These things cause us to be snatched out of the comfortable caves that we build around our lives, if we have that luxury.  God is there and more than ready to accept us and cover our hearts during these dire times.  I know very intimately that God loves you an immeasurable amount and that His plan is that you spend eternity with Him.  If you don't know God, please read the book of John.  This book explains His great love for us.  I pray that you come to know Him and that He becomes a necessity in your life.
As I walked out of the store, the sun was setting and the sky was an awesome wash of purple and gold.  I noticed a silhouette in the sky and stood there in the cold to see what it was.  A bunch of balloons rose above my head and over the store.  As I stood there shivering in the dusk, they disappeared over the roof and out of my sight.  In that moment I knew that God was reminding me that time is short.  We only have but a moment in the scope of eternity to secure our eternity and to assist others to do the same.  I pray that God quickens to your mind and heart the urgency of this quest.
Please pray with me.
Dear God,
That You for this moment in time.  Thank You for Your Son and His promise of salvation.  I pray that You remind us of our responsibility to speak Your Word and show others Your love in our day-to-day lives.  Lord, I pray for salvation for the nations.  I pray that Your Word is cast far and wide.  We have this moment, we have this hour.  Please do Your work in our lives and let the Kingdom of Heaven be multiplied.  To all men, of all races and creeds I pray for Your salvation.  In Jesus name, Amen.    
If you do not know God, I have included a salvation prayer on the front page of this blog.  I pray for your salvation.  Please feel free to join this blog and message me.  I would be honored to pray for you. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hoarded Emotions

Psalm 51:7

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. KJV

Life hurts.  That is a plain and simple fact that we all must someday face.  What we do with that hurt is the defining factor in the quality of life that we eventually live.  Sometimes the battering of life's storm is so intense and prolonged that we no longer deal with situations and just begin to accumulate layers of pain and scars that cripple us from living healthy lives.  These emotional injuries are not so apparent; such as, a missing body part or jagged scar.  Nonetheless, these scars continue to carve into our life experience in ways that are far reaching.  

When we internalize pain from the storms of life and hurts that we receive from others, intentional or otherwise, it is akin to a hoarded home.  Hoarding occurs when more baggage, whether it be material or emotional is brought into a dwelling then is let go, and is not maintained in an orderly manner.  That dwelling may be your home or your heart.  If you have ever watched the television shows that deal with this issue, you understand that it isn't easy for those that hoard to let go of the material things that are cluttering their lives.  The emotional significance of the hoard is tantamount to the life issues that each one of these persons is attempting to deal with.

Several years ago I had my art studio set up and organized.  Due to a family crisis, I needed the space that it was housed in.  All of my art supplies were boxed rather unceremoniously and stored.  Later, I set my studio up again but it was never as organized as it was originally.  Due to another issue, that reincarnation of my creative space was stored again and I ended up with a tangled mess of art supplies.  Upon my first attempt at sorting my things, I had a minor meltdown when some old and irreplaceable pictures were almost discarded by someone helping me.  No one but God understands what precious things are under the strata  of our lives.  Recently I reestablished my studio space into a functional order, although it needs some tweaking.  Each item  I sorted brought back memories of the projects I had left unfinished, the tragic emotions I had not dealt with at the time, and the hope that I had for the future.  Please don't allow your heart to become like my art studio.  Please allow God to be your sorting partner.  He understands and is totally invested in purging our lives and hearts to be healthy and walk in His light.    

Father, please lead and guide us to walk in Your perfect light.  Life becomes so burdensome, thank You that Yours is the shoulder that we must lean on to bear it.  I pray that You hearken these words to the eyes of those who need to understand how our hoarded emotions harm our lives.  I thank You for purging us, even when it is painful.  In Jesus name, please continue to do Your perfect work in all of our lives.  Amen.



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