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The High Way to Things Above

Jesus taught that heaven is not simply where we go when we die, but the place of God’s rule and reign on earth here and now.  Our job, as children of God, is to call out to Him for the ways of heaven to govern our hearts and lives here and now.  We are earthly vessels designed and called to carry and share the things of heaven wherever we go.  We are to seek first the Kingdom of God and whatever else we need will be given to us.

When we accept Jesus as the Lord of our life, we become citizens of Heaven.  When someone is healed and delivered from the power of the devil, the Kingdom of Heaven has come upon them.  When the love of Christ moves in us and through us, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  

high way 2Prayer takes us onto the High Way of Faith between heaven and earth.  When we turn our attention to our Father in heaven, as Jesus taught us, we enter the High Way of Faith.  It’s a two-way High Way. Jesus is seated with the Father in the place of dominion interceding for us.  When we call out to Jesus, the Father hears us.  He wants us to prosper here on earth.  He answers every prayer.  We are to be anxious for nothing but rather to make our requests known to God by prayer and petition with thanksgiving.  When we do this we fulfill our calling as people chosen to be a royal priesthood right here on earth (1 Peter 2:9).   

Prayer is an amazing privilege given to all people, even unbelievers.  Many people come to faith simply by crying out to God or Jesus in desperation, then discovering that God actually answers their heart cry.  But as Believers, we are called to something more.  We are called to actively participate in God’s plan to bring forth the ways of heaven on earth.  This is a higher call than simply asking for our personal needs.  We are called to make prayers of faith trusting that God is the God of love and compassion, the only God who invites people to call Him “Father.”  Our Father in heaven desires to have a personal connection with each of His children.  All of His creation longs for us to walk in the fullness of who we were made to be.  Abba Father sends His Spirit every day to empower us to be who He calls us to be so that we ourselves become bearers of heaven on earth.

Next time you pray, think on these things.  Intercede with God for heaven to come to earth—then be prepared to be used by Him to make it come true!  Prayer is the Way to bring things above down to earth.  In this way Jesus in our hearts becomes the High Way of Holiness.

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Reconnecting when Relationships Break

One of the greatest challenges in relationships is learning to move toward the other person when differences work to separate us.  Otherwise we end up focusing on managing the distance between ourselves and the other person rather than making the effort to reconnect.  Yet it usually takes more energy to manage distance than to make the effort to reconnect in important relationships, no matter how challenging it can feel to make that effort.

Here are practical steps you can take to re-establish connection and restore the joy of relationship, adapted from Danny Silk’s



Make your goal connection rather than keeping your distance.

Especially in family relationships, it’s vital to remember the goal is connection, not keeping your distance.  To re-connect, we have to let go of our self-talk that builds a case against the other person.  We need to quickly drop the notion that keeping a list of wrongs, real or imagined, is preferable to staying connected.


Drop the disrespectful talk.

Refuse to participate in any disrespectful exchanges.  Love does not blame and shame.  Disrespect is characterized by the words: “

You, you, you.” As in:  “You

always say…do…such and such.”  If you find yourself using the “you” word often, realize you’re locking the other person into a place of condemnation, something Jesus doesn’t do to us.  It’s far more productive to be vulnerable about your own thoughts, feelings and needs than to talk about the other person.

Step back, breath a moment and address your own fears and anxieties.

Take time to process what you’re feeling and identify why you’re upset.  It’s hard to be reasonable when our feelings are amped up.  Identify what’s bothering you and prepare yourself to listen more closely to what’s bothering the other person.  It’s amazing how often a solvable communication breakdown triggers the blame and shame game.  Refuse to go there.

Learn to identify and communicate what you need in the relationship.

When we linger in self-protection or distance mode too long, it gets hard to acknowledge our actual needs. To move toward the other person, you have to realize what’s really important to you, what you need most. To move toward another person, it requires vulnerability to open up your own heart, acknowledge your own areas of need, and be willing to communicate those.

Listen to what the other person needs in the relationship.

Moving toward connection requires getting really good information about what the other person needs. Meeting another’s needs is the number-one thing that fuels connection and builds trust.  The first person who can identify what the


person really needs and who meets that need “wins.”  Victory is a re-connected relationship.

Be ready to adjust in order to protect a repaired connection.

A successful reconnection conversation doesn’t just clean up existing messes that led to the disconnect; it also identifies areas where you need to adjust in order to build and maintain a better connection. Your goal should be to move forward from your conversation with motivation and a plan for staying better connected going forward.

As Danny Silk concludes: “There’s nothing more courageous than fighting for your connection by leaning into a tough conversation. Remember that you’ve not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. You’ve got this, and it’s worth it.” 



The Secret to a Carefree Life

One great secret of a carefree life is to learn that how you respond to a problem is often more important than the problem itself!  

Something in us wants to believe life should be problem-free.  It’s a great dream, but when we don’t get what we want right away we’re prone to grumbling, blaming someone, taking offense or sulking away in our own private world. 

The Bible says we’ll have difficulties in life.  In fact, the reason we’re here is to overcome them.  The good works God prepared before we were born for us to walk in isn’t a cake walk, it’s a life of overcoming!  Jesus put it, “In this life you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33  

carefree 4Weight lifters know that they need to press against resistance to build their muscles.  In like manner spiritually capable people have learned to see problems as times of resistance for building up their spiritual strength. That’s what “take heart” means.

Jesus also said: “By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.”  Luke 21:19   God wants us to gain our souls.  The Greek word for “soul” is psuche, from which we get words like psyche and psychology.  The word literally means “to breathe or blow” and refers to the breath of God filling us with life which produces a positive, overcoming attitude.  By learning not only to endure the problems of life but to face them positively, we gain ourselves even if we can’t solve a problem right away.  With God’s Spirit in us, all things are possible.  So much so that we can walk through life enveloped by an atmosphere of hope, joy and victory that often releases the very favor we need to solve the problems we face.

So, learn to be vigilant when problems arise.  There’s the problem, and then there’s what rises up in us to address the problem.  Take time to breathe before reacting and ask God for His perspective and strength to deal with the problem.  Learning to call problems “challenges” and “opportunities” is a good place to start.  Try saying it outloud, even if it sounds funny—especially if a problem is very difficult.  Hearing our own positive self-talk reminds us God is with us always, and His plan is always to prosper us, give us hope and lead us into a better future.  Jeremiah 29:11  The best is yet to come!


Let it Snow

Snowstorm 1aThe blur of snow I seeing glistening in our yard today reminds me of the way God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh as promised of old: 

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28-29

God’s glistening Spirit storm is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere!  Well, actually that’s the description of God’s Wisdom from Above  given in James 3:17.  All the same, it’s a good description of the way the Lord is releasing His Spirit on all flesh throughout the world in our time.

Did you know Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world?  Some say it is growing fastest of all in Iran, a radically Muslim nation.  Most Muslims come to the saving grace of Jesus simply through their dreams because God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh as promised of old. 

True Christianity has grown worldwide by more than 300 million believers in the past ten years. About 10 million of these new Christians are from North America and Europe, and the rest are from developing countries like Nigeria, Argentina, India and China. 

Every day some 250,000 people throughout the entire world hear the salvation plan of God and some 175,000 are added to the body of Christ each day!  That totals a million new believers in less than one week.  (These and the following data are from TheTravelingTeam.org.

  • In the last thirty years, 10% of Korea and 10% of Chile turned to Christ, and over 10% in Indonesia —the largest Muslim country in the world.  Indonesia is now over 25% Christian.
  • After 70 years of oppression in the former Soviet Union, Christians now number about 100 million —five times the number of the Communist Party at the height of its popularity, and 36% of the total population in the region.  More than 15,000 public school teachers are now teaching morals from the Bible and the life of Christ in their classes. That’s way way more than here in America, where public schools still prohibit such teaching!
  • In Japan the best-selling book in recent years has been the Bible. When Japanese citizens were asked in a government survey to name the greatest religious leader in history, 67% replied, “Jesus Christ.”
  • Our own nation has the third largest number of unreached people in the world behind only India and China!

My point?  Scripture says no one comes to God except by the Spirit of God.  (1 Corinthians 12:3) This means the 300 million new believers worldwide the past ten years all received an impartation of God’s Spirit, just as Joel prophesied 2,800 years ago!  Amazing!

The Kingdom of God is in our midst and pouring out revelation throughout the entire world.  The fields are white for harvest, just as the blustery beautiful snowfall today reminds me.