Thursday, May 30, 2013

God Answers Every Prayer

by Andrew Wommack

Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
Prayer which meets the requirements outlined in God's Word is always answered. Many times we don't perceive the answer because it always comes in the spiritual realm first before it is manifested in the physical realm. If we waver from our confident faith, then we abort the manifestation of that answer (Jas. 1:6-7; Heb. 10:35). But God did answer. Everyone who asks receives.

In the book of Daniel chapter 9, Daniel prayed a prayer and waited a relatively short period of time to see his answer to prayer. In less than three minutes the angel Gabriel appeared and answered all of his questions.

This same man prayed another prayer in Daniel chapter 10, but this time it took three weeks before he had an angelic messenger come and answer his questions. What was the difference? Most people believe that God answered one prayer in three minutes and the next prayer in three weeks. But Daniel 10:12, says "from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand,...thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words." Satan had hindered the second prayer from reaching Daniel. God was not the variable. God answers every prayer.

This is confirmed in Matthew 7:8, which says that everyone who asks receives, he that seeks will find, to him that knocks it is opened. God answers, but Satan can hinder our prayers in the spiritual realm before they ever physically manifest. If we understand that God gives the answer and that Satan is the one hindering, the truths of these scriptures will encourage us. God does answer prayer.

God is always answering your prayer. If you haven't seen it manifest, don't doubt God, but recognize that you're fighting an enemy, and persevere. Stand on your faith. Pray without ceasing until you see the answer.

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Nonnative Plants: Ecological Traps

Asian Honeysuckles are beautiful and showy bushes. Their white and pink flowers can fill the air with fragrance. Songbirds, including northern cardinals, American robins and gray catbirds, flock to nest in the plants’ dense leaves and gorge on their smorgasbord of red and yellow berries.

But these lush plants have a darker side. Since Amur honeysuckle and other Asian species were introduced to the United States in the 1800s, birds have spread their seeds across the eastern part of the country, creating dense thickets everywhere from Vermont to Ohio.

The deep shade cast by honeysuckle has devastated countless native plants. “Spring and summer wildflowers are just annihilated,” says ecologist Amanda Rodewald of Ohio State University.

So, too, are tree seedlings such as sugar maple as well as native herbs. At Ohio’s Miami University, ecologist David Gorchov compared the survival of these plants in areas where honeysuckle was removed to areas where the bushes were left intact.

“We thought that some native plants would be affected by honeysuckle, while others would not be,” he says. “But we found that everything we looked at was affected.”

Tree seedling survival was reduced up to 70 percent, and herb growth and reproduction rates plunged by up to 80 percent, primarily because of the shade cast by honeysuckle, Gorchov hypothesizes.  Read the entire article.

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Does Open-Heart Surgery Really Work?

Having refused heart surgery over a year ago, this piece of news was very interesting.

Having trouble walking up stairs and experiencing tightness in your chest? If the arteries around your heart are clogged, your doctor will try to remove the blockage by performing an angioplasty. If that doesn’t help, the only remaining option is open-heart ­surgery.

But does open-heart ­surgery really work? ­

According to Nortin Hadler, a University of North Carolina ­professor and the author of The Last Well Person, the procedure doesn’t prolong life or prevent heart attacks except in a minority of ­patients with severely blocked arteries.

What’s more, there’s a risk the ­patient won’t survive the operation (between 1 and 2 percent don’t) and patients ­undergoing the operation also have a 40% chance of suffering side effects.

Los Angeles cardiologist Fouad Ghaly uses an ­alternative treatment: Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy (EECP).  The patient undergoes daily one- to two-hour treatments for four to seven weeks at a cost of $5,000 to $6,000. In patients who have had the treatment, Ghaly found that overall physical condition and oxygen uptake increase, the heart pumps harder, and the condition of blood vessels improves.  Read the entire article.

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Free Photography Workshops at National Parks

If you're making a summer trip to any of the following national parks, you may want to join Canon in the great outdoors this summer for our 6th annual Canon Photography workshops at seven of the country's most awe-inspiring locations:

Grand Canyon, Zion, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain and Acadia national parks.

The expert instructors will host FREE group sessions that provide hands-on direction that will help you enhance your photo or video skills.  Just bring yourself and your imagination.

Check the scheduled workshops.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't Miss God's Supply

by Donna L. Watkins

Many times God uses natural ways to deliver us from our circumstances or to bring healing to us. If we only look for miracles or instant healing, we may miss the provision of God. I believe that's where I've been for some time.

Even knowing that most healing is "walked out" in faith that God will bring it from the spiritual realm into our physical body, I guess I kept believing if I built my "belief" up enough, that I could get a faster response to total health. Having a long list of symptoms that have been healed is a grand thing that I've not counted lightly, but when you have a bunch of health problems, you want to move on quickly to be able to live life in the abundance that Jesus meant for us to do. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

As my friend, Mary, said last year, God heals in many different ways. Even Jesus was an example of that in all of the healing He did while He was on this earth. The storms of our life are not all calmed and removed in the same way. God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" (Is. 55:8). The more we spend time on figuring out which way it should be happening, the less we rest in Him to bring it to pass by applying our faith to the situation. If we focus on Him and not the storm, we will stay on course.

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© Donna L. Watkins - Great Egret in Breeding Plumage
Brookgreen Gardens,  Murrells Inlet, SC
We will always have storms in our lives. Sometimes from our disobedience, like Jonah, who didn't go to where God told him to go, but headed out on a ship in the opposite direction. Sometimes it's because of somebody else with authority over us not making the right choices, such as when Paul was prisoner and the centurion didn't take his advice not to launch out on the ship. Paul knew he would make it to Rome because God had told him he would, but he fasted and obviously prayed for all 275 shipmates and God told him there would be no loss of any man’s life among him (Acts 27:22).

Although we know this deliverance was of God, there was no supernatural intervention on His part. The storm was not miraculously calmed, as Jesus had done in Mark 4:39, and the boat was not instantly transported to a safe haven, as had happened with the disciples in John 6:21. God did deliver them, true to His promise but in a natural way. It would have been normal for some of these shipmates to think that their deliverance happened without God’s intervention.

Likewise today, many of us don’t discern that it's God delivering us, because He may accomplish it through natural means. But just as surely as the Scriptures reveal that this natural rescue was God’s doing (Acts 27:44), so many things that just work out naturally in our lives are the working of God.  A refusal to accept nothing but the miraculous intervention of God can cause a person to miss God’s supply.

How Does God Heal?
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How Can Birds Sing Without Pausing To Breathe?


It’s the males, of course, providing the music (females make alarm calls and other vocalizations but almost never songs). And while a male will sing for several reasons, the main function of a song is to inform other birds of the singer’s existence.

Specifically, a song informs rival males and potential mates of the bird’s species, and subtle variations to the song identify the bird as an individual. These variations are usually imperceptible to humans, but studies have shown that birds respond differently to the songs of their neighbors than to recordings of birds from other areas.

Studies have also shown that female birds respond more favorably to complex songs—  Read the entire article.

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Feline Illness - FeLV and FIV

by Dr. Jane Bicks

If your cat is the free-roaming, outdoorsy type who enjoys adventuring with other feline friends, then you should definitely check out the latest from Dr. Jane.

In this post, she explores two potentially fatal diseases that have been affecting cats since the 1960’s, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Jane offers a brief overview of the symptoms, tests, and treatment options.

Additionally, Dr. Jane offers some tips on how to reduce your cat’s chances of contracting either illness. Read Dr. Jane's post now ...

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Spring Cleaning Tips for Backyard Birds

From Birds & Blooms

Don't forget about your feathered friends while you're doing the spring cleaning. Start the season with squeaky clean feeders, houses and baths—you'll be able to spend more time throughout the season enjoying your backyard birds!

I had trouble cleaning our large cedar bird feeder because it would not fit in our sink. My husband suggested I take it to a self-serve car wash. The high-pressure washer did the trick. It removed every trace of seed and dirt without any hassle. -Sheryl Miller, Fogo, Newfoundland

I learned it's sometimes best to leave birdhouse cleaning until early spring. Birds and other small animals may use the old nesting material to keep warm on cold winter nights. When cleaning the birdhouse, remove all debris and sterilize the house by pouring boiling water through it. Make any necessary repairs before rehanging. -Judy Singh, Maryville, Tennesee

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Newsletter - 5/15/13

The Nature In Us Newsletter

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Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget. -- Anonymous

Hello Sweet Friends!

I prayed that Mother's Day would be special for all mothers out there, but I know in reality there are many people who suffer through this day.  Possibly because of a child that has died or a child that lives but doesn't seem to remember you do also.  Mothers spend an awful lot of time raising children and often we may have a hard time transitioning from that role to focusing on ourselves.

We can have high expectations from our children, but the best way to deal with that is to turn them over to our Loving Father who loves them more than we do.  He will guide and watch over them even in their own seasons of right or wrong.  You did all you could do ... your best at the time ... and that's all that could be done.  Don't allow yourself to linger in regret and sorrow on this beautiful holiday.  You don't have to only consider those you birthed as children, but you can celebrate pets you have nurtured and cared for, children's lives you've been involved in over the years, and even being a mom to a grown person who needs mentoring.  Choose to celebrate it, don't dread it!

My sweet husband cleaned the kitchen floor for me and the big master bathroom tub that only gets used twice a year, but needs regular cleaning.  I'm not a bath person.  Love a shower.  Randal uses it a couple times in the winter just to warm up to the bone as he calls it.  If we ever build another house I will put a larger shower in and not have one of those whirlpool tubs that you're supposed to put in for resale.  Apparently they're not that popular now, so if you're in the process of remodeling or getting ready to build, consider this article:  Toss The Tub.

Cicada Nymph Skin - It's Empty!
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For the past month I've heard mention that this is the year for the 17-year Cicadas to come out here in Virginia. Over the weekend I had heard that they had begun merging. Well, the 17-year Cicadas have officially arrived here at Bluebird Cove. I guess you could say they've been here all along since they emerge from the ground by the billions in the USA after a long nap.

As I strolled the garden on Monday I saw oodles of the nymph skins hanging from leaves on bushes and from low tree branches. They climb up from the ground to find a spot where they attach their feet pretty solidly (you have to give a good snatch to get them to detach). Then they begin to crawl out of that skin and become a full-bodied Cicada with beautiful red eyes and large wings. Some folks call them Locusts but they are a different species. Get more info on Cicadas vs. Locusts.

Adult 17-Year Cicada
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I decided I'd like to gather 17 Cicadas to place in a container but got a bit carried away since they were so easy to gather. I think I have about 25 of them now. I collect bugs to put in various little containers that women sometimes keep on the shelves. Since I used to be terrified of bugs it's a continual smile for me to realize that we can be healed of emotional things also, including phobias we've had for many years. Not only delivered but turned around all to the opposite end of extreme, to actually love them and find them interesting.

Cicadas eat foilage so they're not welcome guests on properties and gardens. There is a predator however and that is the Cicada Killer Wasp. It's one of the largest wasps measuring over 1-1/2 inches long. The large abdomen is black and yellow, much like a yellow jacket. This wasp lives at the edges of forests, in gardens, and in waste places. Fortunately for us we know our neighbor has them nesting every year along his stone garden wall.

© Donna L. Watkins
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Cicada Coming Out of Nymph Skin
The females use their sting to paralyze Cicadas rather than to defend nests which is unlike most wasps and bees. They don't attempt to sting humans unless they are roughly handled. They get their energy from flower nectar. It's the larvae that actually eat the Cicadas. The male dies as soon as he mates and the female digs a nest and then kills Cicadas one at a time as she lays an egg and puts one Cicada with each one. That food source will feed the larvae for about two weeks until it is ready to go into pupa stage and come out as an adult the following year.

A few days after gathering the nymph skins and getting photos of the adult, we had just finished eating dinner and I said to Randal, "Let's go outside and see if we find any more adult cicadas."  So we did and now I know it was the Holy Spirit prompting us to go and delight ourselves in Father's nature.  We saw two separate cicadas coming out of their nymph skins.  It was awesome to watch them merge and then for their wings to fill and grow.  Amazing to think that our Heavenly Father created all these magical things for us to see and enjoy.

The American Goldfinches are singing throughout the day. I know our House Finches can go on and on like a group of silly teenagers, but the Goldfinches seem to offer some competition with them. To me it sounds like they're fussy or trying to argue with each other. It seems to get so noisy. I've always loved the Scripture about God feeding sparrows so I think of birds as peaceful beings, but they sure can have long conversations.

We are not to be anxious about anything either. One way to avoid this is to not speak forth the negative thoughts that come to mind. We can get pretty noisy with our own verbal expressions. Doubts and fears will come, but we do not need to entertain them in our thinking. It's so important to watch what we say. God created the heavens and the earth and everything that's in the earth by His words (Hebrews 11:3). Our words, when spoken in faith, release either life or death (Proverbs 18:21) and they affect people, things, and circumstances. We can release faith and power within us through our words.

Speak words that line up with God's Word. You will find it lifts you above the negative and you'll begin to get more positive results. When we speak words of doubt, we eventually believe them and have more negative circumstances. It's almost like we're looking for them to come because we've been feeding our brain on them. (Read: A Sure Win Over Our Troubles)

Our words can be our most powerful weapon against the devil, or they can become a snare of the devil (Proverbs 6:2). Let your mouth speak only things that will encourage your trust, confidence and faith in the Lord. It will encourage others also.

This picture inspires me in so many ways. In my heart that is how I picture myself. Dancing before the Lord in a field of flowers like a little child. We need to think and act like children now and then. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3: "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Become like children. A child is so humble. They don't mind if a whole audience watches them pick their nose while they're supposed to be singing. They trust blindly in all that is said by their parents.

What an illustration Jesus gave us. We must become like children. Lose all the masks we wear and be real. King Solomon understood this. He was already ruling and reigning. He had executed Adonijah his brother, Joab and Simei. Yet when the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream telling him to ask anything, Solomon said in I Kings 3:7: "And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in." Solomon considered himself a little child before the Lord. That is so awesome!

Jesus Took Our Diseases
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Our guest room is also my worship room and one morning a couple weeks ago, when I was rejoicing in what Jesus did for us on the Cross, I got out my list of health problems and placed them behind the picture frame.  It was like I was placing them on His back.

Through His stripes (wounds) we were healed (made whole) -  I Peter 2:24.  Now every morning I am visually reminded of Him taking my pain, sorrow and sickness. My peace and joy abounds.

Hallelujah! We've found a home for the feral kitty. I know many of you have said you were praying for her. We called her Torti. She is a muted tortoise feline.

On May 2nd a local volunteer organization came with a trap to have her spayed. I had been preparing for this by getting her to eat inside a cardboard box. She was terrified when it was done until they put a big towel over the cage. That quieted her down and they took her to their home hoping she'd get an appointment the following day. However, the surgery wasn't done until a week later on the 9th.

 I had prayed for a miracle that I could find a home for her even though I had contacted everybody I could. But! A miracle is what I got!  We have Squeek who is an FIV cat (similar to the HIV in humans), so she doesn't need to place other cats at risk of getting the disease.  Squeek is going to be 17 years old in July, so she doesn't need the stress of a new cat in the house since stress is what has thrown her into several immune crises and I don't want to go through one of those ever again.

Torti - The Feral Kitty With a New Home
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After a few days of pain meds and assurance there were no complications, the volunteer brought Torti back in a carrier that we could borrow to deliver her to the home she would have. That was on Mother's Day. What a blessing to me! This made my day very special, but I didn't realize how emotional it was going to be.

Maybe it's the mix of Mother's Day emotions since our only child lives in Oklahoma, but I felt like I was abandoning her. Giving her up for adoption as you would a child I guess. It's silly ... and I know I will see her again since I have already visited yesterday.  I know she will do well, but it's been harder than I thought.  The volunteer had told me that she believes cats choose their humans and that doesn't help at all.

All of our cats have been strays that I feel have been led to us.  Since this one has been "mine" for eight (8) months, I guess I have been more attached than I realized. She's been through so much in the past two weeks after going through a cold winter.  I hope she understands that she's going to be one happy girl when she settles in.  It's an opportunity to "count it all joy" because it gives me a chance to trust my Father.  After all He made it possible, so He will take care of her.  I told her that she has a kitty angel watching over her.

I still keep looking for her on the deck before my mind remembers that she won't ever be there again. I will adjust and am so grateful God gave her a home. She's such a beautiful feline!

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Blue-eyed Grass
View Closeup of Flower
I wonder how many of you have heard of Blue-eyed Grass? I had never heard of it before a bird dropped a seed in one of my deck pots years ago.  We got a little clump of grass that produced a few soft blue flowers when I first discovered it. After checking out the field guides, I found it was called Blue-eyed Grass. Rather a lovely name I think.  It has loads of soft blue tiny flowers all over the ends of the grass.

This year it has grown really large. More than double of last year. It's probably because it stayed green and growing all winter long by being tucked into a corner on the deck facing south because I had planted some Pansies in that pot in the Fall.

When Spring came it just kept on growing and bloomed superbly. It's a beautiful delicate backdrop to plants with bright blooms. The pansies in the pot went through the winter also. We're in Central Virginia and get plenty of nights in the 20's and snow, so this was a pleasant surprise to me.  Do any of you grow this in your garden?

Until next issue ....

May You Receive An Abundance of Blessings!

P.S.  Know somebody who needs to see something in this newsletter?   You can share this post from the website at the bottom of the post.  Look for the little white envelope. Thanks for sharing!  

View Posts By Topic

Posts Since Last Newsletter

Doubt Comes Gradually

Ten American Native Plants You Can Eat

What Happens To Young Birds When They Leave Their Nests

Through The Name of Jesus  (DLW)

Pentagon to Court-martial Christians

Soaring Bee Deaths Decrease Pollination of America's Plants

A Bear, A Bridge, and God

RECALL: Many Brands of Pet Food

Safe Handling Tips for Pet Products

Tips for Gorgeous Garden Photos

Newsletter - 5/1/13  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Jesus Used The Word As A Weapon

Be a Friend to Bees

Will Animals Be In Heaven?

The Birthday Kindness Movement

Coming To The End of Myself  (DLW)

Gigi's Herbal Heartworm Success Story  (DLW)

Dangerous Pesticides Found in Celestial Seasonings Tea

Frogs Need Our Help, So Hop to It!

Newsletter - 4/15/13  (DLW)

The Positive Impact of Religion on Health

Birdhouse Basics

Loneliness Taxes Immune System

Puppy FAQ's

Oppressed By The Devil  (DLW)

Grow Your Own Birdseed

Outdoor Exercise is Best!

Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet & Ankles

73 Million Packages of Poisoned Bird Seed Sold

Newsletter - 4/1/13  (DLW)

Long-term Sad Effects of a Happy Meal

His Great Love For Us

Cinnamon and Honey  (DLW)

Lawn Gone!  (DLW)

Gator Mating Season

Dogs - Big or Small?

Don't Give Up, It's Already Yours  (DLW)

Creating Bird-Friendly Urban Landscapes

The Importance of Play for Adults

2013 Free Entrance to National Parks & Public Lands

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Doubt Comes Gradually

Enter Doubt, Exit Faith
by Andrew Wommack
Matthew 14:30, "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
The reason Peter began to sink was because of his fear. In verse 31 Jesus used the word "doubt" in reference to Peter's fear. Fear is simply negative faith or faith in reverse.

Where did this fear come from? Second Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." It didn't come from God. This fear was able to come upon Peter because he took his attention off of Jesus and put it on his situation.

Fear or doubt cannot "just overcome" us. We have to let it in. If Peter had kept his attention on Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith (Heb. 12:2), he wouldn't have feared. In the same way that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), fear comes by hearing or seeing something contrary to God's Word.

We would not be tempted with fear or doubt if we didn't consider things that Satan uses to minister fear and doubt. The wind and waves didn't really have anything to do with Peter walking on the water.  He couldn't have walked on the water apart from Jesus even if it had been calm.

The circumstances simply took Peter's attention off of his Master and led him back into carnal thinking. Likewise, Satan tries to distract us with thinking about our problems.

Peter's faith didn't fail him all at once, as can be seen by the fact that he only "began" to sink. If there had been no faith present, he would have sunk all at once and not gradually. This illustrates that the entrance of fear and the exit of faith do not happen instantly. There are always signs that this is happening.

If we will turn our attention back to Jesus, as Peter did, He will save us from drowning. No problem is too big for God. We should cast our care about the problem over on God and just keep our eyes on Jesus, the Word.

Visit Andrew's Website.
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Ten American Native Plants You Can Eat

Here's an article that may make you begin thinking about planting things that you can eat.  Our garden has always had the focus of food for wildlife, but we can plant enough that there's plants to feed ourselves too.
Native Plants We Can Eat

As we increasingly strive to feed ourselves sustainably, there’s no better place to start than with homegrown native fruits—from blueberries in Maine and scuppernongs in North Carolina to red raspberries in California. We wouldn’t be the only ones to reap the benefits—wildlife love to feast on these fruits, too.

Following are 10 American originals you can grow in your garden come next spring and then enjoy the fruits of your labor during holiday meals and other times. Now is a good time to begin making plans.

To be certain you are not introducing a plant that might be invasive in your area, look for species that are native to your region. Keep in mind that the cultivated varieties available at local nurseries are not necessarily the best choice—their fruits may be bigger, but they’re often less tasty than the native species and may be less attractive to wildlife. Read about these plants.

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What Happens To Young Birds When They Leave Their Nest?


A lot of us think that baby birds grow up in a family that stays together and migrates south together. There are some species of birds that stay together after the nesting season, but they are rare.

Most young birds are totally on their own soon after they leave the nest. In fact, in many bird families, the parents migrate south long before their youngsters do.

The best examples of this are the families of most species of hummingbirds. The female raises her offspring until they are out of the nest and able to feed themselves. A few weeks later, she disappears. The youngsters are left alone to fatten up for their long migratory flight to a place in the tropics where they have never been before. Isn't that amazing? .... Read the entire article.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Through The Name of Jesus

by Donna L. Watkins
Acts 3 includes the story of a lame beggar who was crippled from birth. He had somebody to carry him to the temple gate daily so he could beg alms. Peter and John came to the temple and told him to look at them. They wanted his full attention. They told him they had no silver or gold to give him but such as they had they would give and commanded him in the name of Jesus to stand up and walk. The man not only walked, but he was jumping and praising God. Obviously he created quite a stir amongst those who were at the temple because all knew him as the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful.

In verse 12, Peter says to the crowd, “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?" He also tells them about Jesus whom they had killed and that it was through Him that this man was healed. In Acts 3:16 he explains, “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all."

His name heals, not our will, strength or determination. If it was any of that, it would mean it partially depended on me, but it's all Jesus. He is the one who paid the price for our healing. He took the diseases on His body, died and then dumped them all back into Hell. "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Colossians 2:16).

In Luke 4 and Matthew 21 Jesus went to the temple in His home town, Nazareth, and was handed the scroll of Isaiah to read. He unrolled it and found the passage of Isaiah 61:1-2a (which was originally from Leviticus 25:10) where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year of the Lord's favor.” Then He said to them that the passage was fulfilled in their hearing.

The "year of the Lord's favor" was the year of Jubilee. In the Old Testament the concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, aJubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, land was returned to its original owners and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. The economy was reset to zero giving everyone a fresh new start. The poor had a chance to recover, the rich could not continue to exploit others for selfish purposes. The year of Jubilee was a time of liberty and freedom--a fresh new start to erase inequities in the culture.

When Jesus went to Hell after the grave, He returned all the inequities that the devil had placed on mankind and threw them back in Satan's face. He "took captivity captive." Ephesians 4:8-9 says, "Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" Now every year is the year of Jubilee for Christians as far as the meaning that was applied to it. We have been set free from our sins and diseases and whatever holds us captive that is within the evil realm. We no longer need to think that salvation was only to give us a ticket to Heaven. Jesus said He came to give us a "more abundant life" (John 10:10).

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© Donna L. Watkins - Monarch on Coreopsis
North Carolina Botanical Garden at Chapel Hill
Through His name we have the resurrection power of God because Christ is within us. In and of ourselves we can do no good thing (Romans 7:18). This is a very difficult thing for people to learn. Jesus says that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), but Christians still attempt to do many things apart from the Lord. We feel like we simply must do something, anything. And even though the Bible says there is nothing good in our flesh, and the flesh profits nothing, we spend a lot of time doing fleshly things apart from the Spirit of Jesus, thinking they are good and profitable.

Peter and John knew they had nothing to give the man, money or otherwise. But they had Jesus to offer this crippled beggar and so they did. Mark 16:17-18 has Jesus speaking to His disciples, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Imagine what our health care system would look like if this were in place within the Body of Christ and the Church today?  What kind of live would we have being totally healthy and surrounded by everybody else being healthy.  Healing wasn't just for Christians.  Christ healed everybody.  He didn't qualify folks.  Unsaved people today are healed all the time and then they learn who it is that healed them, just as the man at the temple gate did, and they jump and praise God.

Scripture never says these signs would ever stop following believers. If you believe -- they will follow you! If you don't, they won't. Jesus mentioned many times the requirement of faith was belief. He wasn't talked about belief in the head, but belief in the heart. That's why He often used the phrase, "those who have ears to hear, lt them hear" or "those who have eyes to see, let them see." He was speaking to crowds that obviously had eyes and ears, so He was speaking about the matters of the heart. Romans 10:9 says, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Some Christians say that those signs and abilities were only for His disciples, but in John 14:12 Jesus shows that it was not limited to the Apostles when He says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

If you need another reference of proof, Paul was not one of the Apostles. His experience on the road to Damascus was after Jesus' was crucified, risen and returned to the Father. But Acts 28:8-9 tell us that Paul healed people: "And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed."

We have more power and ability through Christ than we can imagine. The Church (speaking globally) has left much of what Jesus came to give us on the table and walked away from it. Why? Probably for the same reasons many Christians do today. It's not understood with the mind. These are spiritual abilities and we get used to functioning in the physical realm and aren't always able to cross the bridge to the spiritual realm. The world has become more "me-focused" and mindful to what we can accomplish in and of ourselves.

But it's the name of Jesus and the faith that comes through Him that gives us complete healing .... and we can meditate on that until it gets into our hearts. The Holy Spirit imparts revelation when we seek God with all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding, and in all ways acknowledge Him. He will then make our paths straight. I am certainly tired of crooked and crippled paths. I know there's a yellow brick road to all that God provided for us when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to redeem us.

Reach out, earnest seek His face, desire nothing else so much as relationship with our Heavenly Daddy. Life will be so much more full and complete healing will truly be ours.

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Pentagon to Court-martial Christians

The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away.

Last week, anti-Christian and left-wing activists met at the Pentagon with military officials to discuss pressing issues in the military. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?

According to these far-left activists, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As the Washington Post reported, some are saying that "religious proselytizing" is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces -- even on par with sexual assault.

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Soaring Bee Deaths Decrease Pollination of America's Plants

From New York Times

A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.

A conclusive explanation so far has escaped scientists studying the ailment, colony collapse disorder, since it first surfaced around 2005. But beekeepers and some researchers say there is growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor.  Read the entire article.  
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